The Blood Within | Teen Ink

The Blood Within

May 20, 2011
By prima, corona, California
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prima, Corona, California
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Author's note: The characters are based upon some of my old classmates! I've put dedication and inspiration to this story, and made included a triggering, suspenseful but humorous tone throughout.

My alarm clock rang, and I slowly opened my tired eyes, sticky from the eyeliner I left on last night. I banged my alarm clock, turning it off. I ignored it and went back to sleep. I still had my clothes on, for I had stayed up late again, and had been too tired to take shower, so I just dropped on my bed, with black jeans, a black and white striped shirt, and a black short sleeved sweater over it. My hair was up in two high ponytails. I always wore my hair in two high ponytails, and looked like a crazy rock star, but right now they were all tangled up.
“Nikki! Wake up in there, we need to get to school earlier now,” my dad knocked at my door.
“No! Don’t feel like it!” I yelled grumpily.
“Get up, hurry,” he said firmly, knocking at my door again.
“Shut up!” I screamed, throwing a pillow at the door.
When there was no response, I realized he must’ve already walked away. I just fell back to sleep.
Suddenly, after about five minutes, my alarm clock ran even louder, startling me that I flinched and fell off the bed, hitting my side on a bunch of spread out CDs and clothes. I yelled and cussed in annoyance, and shot up, turning my alarm off again, and threw it at the ground, and kicked it at my closet. With a grumpy, pissed off look, I shot my door open, and stomped to the bathroom, slamming the door angrily behind me.
My name’s Nikki and I’m fifteen years old. I was starting my first stupid freshman year, and I wasn’t looking forward to it at all. I had a brother named Edward, who was a senior now, and a stupid little cousin named Kenneth, who I really didn’t get along with. He was eleven, and he was just like an annoying toddler, who always bugged the heck out of me. I guess I was worse to him than he was to me, but he was the one who always started it.
I took a shower, and dressed in the same clothes, except I wore black tight pants instead of jeans. I sprayed perfume all over me and took out black eyeliner. I washed my face and then put some more eyeliner on. I always put an amount of eyeliner until it looked dark around my eyes. People always said I looked cool with eyeliner, though not many have ever seen me without it. I put my hair up in two high ponytails again, and when I got out of the bathroom, I looked like a gangster girl, with a black short sleeved sweater over a black and white striped shirt, and black tight pants, with two black earring pressed on my ears, dark eyeliner over my eyes, and two high ponytails like a rock star’s. I would’ve worn my lip piercing, but I figured that since today was my first day of high school, I would be biting around my bottom lip a lot.
As soon as I stepped out of the shower, a pair of jeans were thrown at my face, and I heard the laughter of my little cousin, Kenneth.
“Freak! I heard you fall out of bed! I bet you looked like a zombie when you woke up with eyeliner on!” He laughed.
I yanked the jeans off of me and pushed him hard to the floor.
“Argh!!! Stay out of my room, you stupid retard!” I screamed angrily.
“Owww,” he complained, getting up. “I’m telling, dad said you’re not supposed to push me anymore!”
“Dad said you’re not supposed to come in my room anymore!” I yelled.
“Yeah, Kenneth, stay out of her room,” said a sarcastic voice, coming up the stairs.
“Shut up, Edward,” I gave him a naughty smile and threw my jeans at him. He caught them and threw them down the stairs, giving me a smile with narrowed eyes.
Kenneth came up to him. “Edward she hit me,” he said in a happy voice.
“Really? Cooooool,” he said tiredly. He walked passed him and gave me a sassy look before shutting his door in his room.
I squinted my eyes playfully at him. My brother and I always taunted and said rude things to each other, but it was because we really loved each other, and we always laughed whenever we talked dirty to each other.
“Nikki, you suck!” Kenneth yelled after me as I walked down the stairs.
“Yeah, I know!” I called back.
I really was always this way. I was always hotheaded and mean at home, though at school, I was crazy and loudmouthed, always laughing with a lot of people. But at school, people still thought I was mean, though mean in a cool way. My personality with other people was outgoing and mean in a way people thought was cool. I wasn’t mean in a way that people were scared of me and stayed away, I was just crazy and expressive in a cool way that made people talk to me a lot. It was just the way I was, especially since I was a teenager.
I entered the kitchen, where my dad was drinking a cup of coffee and reading a newspaper. My mom was washing the dishes.
I really wasn’t used to waking up at six AM, for waking up at seven was already enough for me at middle school. I was in the IB program, a program for smart students who get good grades. I know, it was weird to think a person like me would be in the ‘smart group,’ but there were many other people I knew in my class who were no different than normal teens, except for their education.
I took some cereal, and while I was pouring the milk, Kenneth came running down the stairs, laughing, yelling, “No! Don’t! No! No!” And he slid across the kitchen floor, and bumped into my side, making me spill it all on the table.
“Uh! Kenneth!!!” I yelled a cuss word at him and threw the entire carton at his head, spilling milk all over him.
He dropped his mouth open and yelled. “Nikki! Daaaaad!!! Nikki just-”
“Nikki!” My dad yelled, getting up from his chair, pushing me out of the way as went to get some paper towels.
“Don’t push me!” I reached to hit him back, but missed. I glared at Kenneth. “That’s what you get for making me spill!”
He was holding a toy car and he threw it at my face, hitting my forehead.
I flinched, and before I could kill him, he ran away back to the stairs, and I rushed after him.
“Freak! I’m gonna kill the hell out of you!” I yelled through clenched teeth.
Kenneth yelled as he saw Edward coming down with a jar of dead spiders. He turned back, bumped into me, and I banged the palm of my hand at his forehead.
“OW!” He yelled and tried swatting me, though he missed.
Edward chuckled. “Nice hair, Kenneth. Want spiders in it too?”
Kenneth snickered and ran around the stairs, away from Edward.
Edward looked at me. “You’re gonna love freshman year, the teachers are so nice to you,” he said sarcastically.
“Yeah? I’m really looking forward to it,” I replied sarcastically back. I winced at his jar of dead spiders. “Gross, how long have you kept that?”
He shrugged. “Dunno. For a long time.” It was open and he stuck his hand in the jar, feeling the several dead spiders.
“Ugh! Sick! What’re you gonna do with them anyway? I dare you to eat one.”
Suddenly, he threw a bunch at me, and I screamed, and brushed them all out of my hair.
“You man whore!” I screamed. I took his jar and spilled out all the spider, scattering them around the floor.
“Hey! Dude, Nikki! What the hell?” He walked passed me, bumping his shoulder on mine as he went to pick them up.
I gave him a hit on the back with the jar. “Yeah, I dare you to eat ‘em or I’m not giving back the jar.”
“No way, slut, I ain’t eating them,” he muttered.
“Whatever,” I walked away, dropping the jar in my backpack.
“Nikki! You clean this mess up and apologize to Kenneth right now!” Said my mother, handing me paper towels.
I winced. “No way, no until he apologizes for existing.”
I started cleaning the wet table.
Lynn, Kenneth’s eighteen year old sister, came downstairs. She was more laid back and easier to get along with; she was actually the only one in this house I actually got along with besides my mom. Kenneth was the worst I behaved with, then it was my dad, who was always bugging at me every time I fought with something Kenneth started, since Kenneth was his favorite nephew and he always took his side. Edward, I actually treated him like I treated Kenneth, but in a good way, and I always laughed whenever I did, and he treated me the same as well. My mom was pretty laid back, though I knew she really didn’t enjoy my attitude, and Lynn, she and I got along like friends, so she liked me the way my friends did- as a cool, expressive person.
Lynn winced at me. “Why’s Edward keeping dead spiders?”
I raised my eyebrows. “I don’t know. ‘Cause he’s retarded.”
“He’s putting them in your bed, I saw him.”
I faced her. “Thanks, I’m putting thumbtacks in his bed then.”
“Nikki, you go and apologize to Kenneth right now,” said my dad firmly, coming over with Kenneth at his side.
I rolled my eyes. “Fine! Sorry you had to be around and happen to be my cousin! There! I said your apology too! And I accept!”
“Yeah! Accept that you had to be born and managed to live on for fifteen years!” He shot back.
“Now, shut up! Both of you!” Dad snapped. “I don’t wanna hear anymore! Kenneth, go up and take your shower. Nikki, you have to leave in fifteen minutes.”
“Whatever,” I said. Kenneth stuck his tongue at me and I gave him the loser sign as he ran back up the stairs.
I sat at the table, giving my dad a sassy look. “You know he starts everything, you just don’t wanna take my side, huh?”
He went back to reading his newspaper. “No, he may start it, but you just make it worse. You need to stop that, Nikki, I’m tired of this.”
“Then stop inviting him over!” I rolled my eyes. “Geez, what a waste of family time, always having to have some retard kid ruin it.”
Edward joined me at the table. “I’m warning you this time, Nikki, you might wanna skip breakfast this time.” He snickered, sitting down.
“Why?” I winced. Then, suddenly, on my spoon, there was a dead spider with the cereal. I threw it across the kitchen. “Ew!” I squealed. Luckily, my parents were upstairs now, so they didn’t see that.
Edward started laughing.
I frowned and kicked his chair, accidently making him tip over and fall.
“Ow! Damn!”
I wasn’t expecting him to fall over, so I started laughing hard. “Ha! Look at you! you look like a retard on the floor!”
I threw some of my cereal at him. He got up and sat back on his chair, quietly calling me a name.
“I know you are,” I said sassily. “I saw you talking to Cassandra last night. You love her. And I’m telling Lynn that.”
“What?!” Edward winced. “That wasn’t Cassandra!”
“Yeah, it was!” I laughed. “I heard you! You were all flirting her like, ‘hey, you wanna go to the movies tonight? Lynn doesn’t wanna go, so it can just be the two of us,’ And you sounded so flirty and corny! Let me tell you something though. Cassandra hates you. She told me you’re a jerk.”
Edward was wincing, and he started laughing. “No, that wasn’t Cassandra.”
“Who was it then?”
“It was Brock, retard,” he muttered.
“You were flirting with Brock?” I laughed.
“You guys ready?” My mom came over.
“I’ve got my own car,” said Edward, giving a sideways smile. “Not driving with Nikki.”
“Yeah, whatever, I don’t wanna drive with you either, pervert,” I said, giving Edward a hit on the back as he got up.
“Nikki, I don’t want your mornings to be like this all the time, okay?” Said my mom seriously. “You have to get used to having to wake up early.”
“What? What d’you mean? My mornings are always terrible with Kenneth.” I replied.
“Yeah, I should be the one getting used to having Nikki around in my mornings,” muttered Edward, flicking at my ponytail as he walked passed me.
I got in the car with my mother.
“Ew, I’m a freshman and an IB student, that’s just great,” I muttered, sitting in the front seat next to my mom.
She sighed. “Well, you’re not alone. All your friends are freshmen also. And you won’t be teased, from the way you’re dressed.”
I frowned. “Yeah, but I’ll be talked about behind my back because I’m in IB. We’re considered ‘nerds,’”
My mom chuckled. “I think people already talk about you behind your back because you’re you.”
“Probably,” I shrugged.
Mom dropped me off at a big building, where a giant board was painted in big, large letters, “Redwood High.”
“Okay, have a good day now,” said my mom seriously.
“Whatever,” I said dryly. I slammed the door behind me and walked to the building. There were lots of kids crowding everywhere.
“Damn, everyone looks so tall here,” I muttered, wincing around me. I was pretty tall as well, I was 5’7, but I wasn’t used to having tall, older looking people around. I couldn’t find anyone.
I was trying to look around for Jessie, my best friend. She was probably easy to find, for she had changed her hair color to a dark purple. She had long hair, and it was naturally red, though over break, she dyed it all purple.
I was going to take out my cell phone and text her where she was at, but then I realized…..
“Nooo!!” I yelled and cussed loudly, finding that I had left my phone at home, and angrily threw my backpack to the ground. I felt some people flash me glances.
“Hey, Nikki,” came a voice from behind.
I turned and saw Ashton Redman coming over. “What? You forgot your cell phone or something?” He was giving me a sideways look.
I smirked back. “Yeah, I did.” I said sassily. I picked up my backpack. Ashton used to have a crush on me in sixth grade, but we were always just best friends. He was a nice guy, he was nice to talk to, with a good sense of humor, but he was annoying when he wanted to be, either purposely, or when he was sticking seriously to his point. His hair was almost as dark black as mine, for I had jet-black hair.
“So where’s our class?” I walked over to him. “And I can’t find anyone with all these strange people.”
“It’s pretty big here,” he said, looking around. “But you’re supposed to go to the office and get your paper. I don’t know if you’re in my class, but this is the one for me.”
He gave me a paper and I saw that he had six classes again, and the order they were in, the teachers for each, and the room number for them.
I handed it back to him. “Cool. Come with me then. I’ll get mine.” I pulled him with me to the office, chatting as we walked together.
“Ms. Fletcher?” I said, looking at the chart I got.
“Looks like, you have the same classes as me,” said Ashton, peering over.
“Oh, and she teaches science,” I said tiredly. I wasn’t much of a science fan, but oh well.
“Her room’s F1. That’s just up ahead,” said Ashton.
We walked on, and made it to room F1, where a group of familiar faces were standing by in line. I recognized them. There was a big group in the front that I knew. There was Nathan Falker, the obnoxious and goofy, tall boy I knew, William Sanders, who was his closest friend and had curly black hair, a little long, but not to the point when it looked like a girl’s haircut, Anthony Smith, who was black, and my best friend Jessie Hale, laughing with her boyfriend, James Hartman. Jessie had her long, stiff hair all purple, for she had changed her hair color over break, and she was laughing loud with James. James had long hair like a girl’s haircut, and next to him were the twins, Sam and Gabriel Gates, who both had long black hair like a girl’s haircut as well, except Gabriel’s hair looked a little more firm and shorter, and Sam’s just hung there. Gabriel was my boyfriend. He had asked me out on the last day of eighth grade. He was cool and a nice person, with a good sense of humor, though he was naughty like I was sometimes, but he was a lot better than Sam, who was always sounding and looking bored and tired. He had a lazy voice, and lazy eyes, and I always scared him whenever I was around, so I purposely teased him around to scare him.
Jessie noticed me. She had a girly voice, except it wasn’t too high pitched. She was a little like me, except she was more girly and less destructive when she was mad. But she was more annoying to people since her personality was more self-centered and vain than me. “Hey Nikki! I texted you, why didn’t you answer?”
“I forgot my phone,” I shrugged. “It’s not my first time though.”
“Omigosh, Jessie! I love your hair!” Called a high pitched voice. We turned to see Jenny Chales, the stylish, preppy girl. I knew her well. She came over to join us with a patterned backpack, along with all her patterned clothes.
“It’s so stiff now,” said Nate teasingly with a teasing grin at Jessie. “Hey, Jessie! The wind doesn’t blow your hair anymore! It’s hard like-”
“Oh, it so blows in the wind!” Jessie snapped, laughing. “And it’s not gonna be stiff forever, if I don’t want it to be.”
I winced at Nate. “Did you spike your hair now?”
“Yeah,” he said coolly. “Did you spike yours?”
“Nah, I was just too lazy to brush most of it.” My hair just looked tangled, but it fit well with the style it was in.
Jenny sighed dramatically next to me. “So, Nikki, are Lynn and your brother on their last year now? Seniors?”
Jenny was friends with my cousin Lynn, and good friends with me. I’ve known her since elementary school, and she was always a good friend. She was a better friend for me than Jessie, for she was less vain than she looked and expressed herself in a nicer way, though I knew her well enough that she could even be like me deep down inside. She was naughty at heart, and she showed that a little, but nevertheless, she was still a good friend of me and Jessie.
“Yep,” I replied. “Next year, both will be off to college. I won’t be seeing Edward anymore after that.”
Jessie groaned. “Ugh! Your brother’s awesome though!”
“Yeah, he’s cool. And he’s super smart; he has A plusses in all his classes last year.” Said James, listening to his iPod.
“I used to like him before asking out James,” she said coolly, smiling.
James rolled his eyes and made an annoyed noise. “Who’s hotter, Edward or me?”
I gave him a sassy look. “Who do you think is hotter? Jessie or Lynn? You used to love her.”
“Lynn was hot before I met Jessie,” shrugged James in a flat tone.
Suddenly, Jessie made a disgusted face. “Oh great, here comes Analiese. Darn! She has to be in our classes?”
“What?!” I whipped my face around to see Analiese, a girl with blonde hair and brown highlights, coming our way. She and I were like me and Edward, always taunting and teasing at each other to show that we were really good friends, though Analiese was a serious girl at heart, and sometimes I got a little too carried away messing around with her and annoyed her more than I needed to. Jessie hated her though.
“Sup, Analiese,” said Ashton.
Jeremy whipped around. “Ew! Get away from me!” He ran behind the group with Nate, William, and Anthony.
Analiese laughed, giving him an annoyed look and came over to me.
“You love him,” I said sassily, smiling.
“I know that!” She smirked. “But he’s lucky he’s cute to me, or else I’d hate his guts by now.”

We all chatted with one another, talking and laughing loudly. I was popular with my classmates, and even around the school, for my personality and attitude with people, and I especially chatted a lot with the guys in my classroom. I looked over and saw Ashton messing with Jeremy Beckman, a dirty blonde haired boy, who was…I guess like his best friend, though Jeremy was always taking advantage of him and bossing him around. He wasn’t mean, just a little hyper, chatty, and loudmouthed, a little like Kenneth, but easier he was to get along with. He and I chatted so much, and even taunted each other since we were both expressive.

“Oh, great! Jessie’s my science partner!” Ashton groaned, looking at the seating chart by the door of F1.
I looked at the seating chart. “Jeremy and Analiese are next to each other? Awkward,” I laughed.
“What? I’m next to Ashton? Ughhh!” Groaned Jessie.
“Great. And you talk way too much,” said Ashton as he entered the room.
Gabriel came over to join us. “I’m next to Jenny,” he rolled his eyes.
“Oh, well. Good luck,” I said in a bored voice, grimacing at him. Jenny was my cousin Lynn’s best friend, and she was a real talker. Whenever I was with her, we talked and chatted like there was no tomorrow. I looked at Gabriel’s name on the seating chart. “You and Jenny are in desk 8? You guys are right behind Jessie and Ashton!”
“Wow, I’m gonna be talking all period,” Gabriel sighed.
“Oh, and look at that. Sam’s behind you. With some girl we don’t even know!”
“I’m gonna be feeling bad for her,” chuckled Gabriel.
“You know, all our science partners are girls paired with boys. I wonder who my partner will be,” I looked for my name on the seating chart. I found it. It was 15R. I looked for a 15L to see who was to my left, but Ms. Fletcher popped her head out.
“All right! You ready? Let’s go, the bell already rung.”
I walked in. The room was slightly chilly, and smelled of chemicals and perfume, a strange, but nice smell. There were posters of scientific stuff everywhere, and fake butterflies hanging from the walls. Most of the class was already seated and there was still excited chattering, and I saw the desks lined in five columns, three in each row. Desk 15 was the very back, and the other two desks in its row were empty, and there was no one sitting at desk 15. I frowned. Was I going to be the only freak in the class who had no partner, the only one in my desk, and in my row?
“Alrighty, if everyone can quiet down?” Ms. Fletcher had a fun voice, and she sounded excited. The class slowly quieted. I huffed and rolled my eyes as I stomped over to my seat. It was going to be embarrassing to be the only one in the back all alone. I spotted Jessie, Ashton, Gabriel, and Jenny already giggling together. I eyed them from behind.
“Alrighty! Welcome to science, where we do crazy experiments and act like weirdoes. Just an FYI, I will be calling you any of you weirdoes when I feel like it, I bet you’ve heard that right?”
There was a murmur through the class as people said no.
“Really? Whatever. Okay! The assignment we’re going to go over today is just simple. You are all freshmen here, and I will be showing you around my class.” Ms. Fletcher continued talking, but I zoned out. I rested my head on my right hand on the table as I stared at a poster on the left wall that showed the life cycle of a frog. I could hear laughter from the class every now and then, some even louder than others, and Ms. Fletcher laughing along with them. I take it she was a fun teacher, and I probably was going to like science, especially if I didn’t feel so distracted without my phone.
“Nikki? Would Station 1 be the animal area?” Ms. Fletcher suddenly asked.
My head lifted and I faced her. She looked back at me, smiling with raised eyebrows as if she was expecting some sort of dumb response from me. I turned hot as I felt everyone’s gaze turned to me. Seriously, did everyone always have to stare at whoever was called on?
“Uh….” I looked to my left and saw that next to the first column of desks were cages and tanks of different insects and animals. “Yes?”
Ms. Fletcher blinked. “Nope, the animal area isn’t in a station. There are four stations to the right, and station 1 is where all the pencils, markers, and all that stuff you with is. Please pay attention, just because you’re in the back and behind all the tall people doesn’t mean I can’t see you.” She turned to the rest of the class. “I have eyes everywhere.” She winked.
I rolled my eyes tiredly. I saw that there was a desk in front of me where two people sat, and I had no idea who they were, but in front of them I caught a glimpse of James, Nate, and Brock Rodmen, who were pretty tall. I still didn’t listen to Ms. Fletcher as she explained everything about her room. I watched her, but my mind was focused on….I really didn’t know what.
Suddenly, I felt a vibration next to my feet. My legs flinched. It was coming from my black shoulder backpack. I winced. I glanced at Ms. Fletcher, laughing with the class as she was holding up some textbooks. I reached into my backpack- and felt my phone.
“Yes!” I whispered. I didn’t forget it. But how was it on vibrate? Oh, well. Whatever. I had my phone and that was what mattered. I sat up and crossed my left leg over my right, and hid my phone through the space between, underneath my left leg, knowing Ms. Fletcher may catch me reaching into my backpack. I opened my phone and saw that Lynn had sent me a text message. I winced. Why would Lynn text me if she knew I would be starting school today?
Nik check my room c if I left my history essay b4 my nex class starts
I shook my head, grimacing. I texted back.
Wtf im in skool right now!
She texted back.
Oohh srry XD kk I better leave u alone b4 u get in trubl
I was just about to text back, until Ms. Fletcher spoke.
“Nikki? Is there something bothering you?” She was smiling again.
I shot my head up. “N-no, nothing,” I replied.
“Okay, well, just know that tomorrow you are all totally independent with the room, so don’t come in, looking like a lost weirdo just because you don’t know what’s what in the class, alright?” She gave me a quick grin and turned away before I could nod.
“Okay, back to where we were? What were we talking about?”
“About science experiments,” Jeremy said aloud. I saw that he and everyone were intent on listening to Ms. Fletcher.
“Oh, right! Yeah, I have to warn you, I’m very crazy when it comes to science experiments and labs. The desk where James and Renee are sitting caught on fire a few years ago while doing a science experiment!”
The class laughed along. I quickly closed my phone and hid it back in my backpack, relieved I wasn’t caught. I decided to pay attention, or at least look like I was before she caught me breathing the wrong way or something.
Just then, there was a bang at the door as it rapidly shot open, loudly banging against the wall. It was Dalton Jones, a friend of Nate, William, and Anthony. He was sort of like a punk, always messing around with other people and was always getting into trouble with teachers. He arrived with his long hair messy as if the wind had blown it too much, and his eyes were tired. His backpack slumped on one side of his shoulder, and his pants sagged. He wore a gray jacket that had one end slumping down from his shoulder. He was quietly panting.
“Is this Ms. Fletcher’s class?” He asked in a formal voice, though he looked angry about something.
“Yes, can you not open the door like that the next time you come into class?” Ms. Fletcher replied with a slight tone of sarcasm in her voice.
Dalton met her eyes and gave a small nod and looked away.
“Okay, find your seat and ask your science partner any questions you have. We were just going to start an assignment, and you really shouldn’t have any excuse for being late, normally, I would be required to give you detention for not being in your seat by the time the bell rings, but since it’s the first day, I’ll let you go.”
Dalton made his way over to my desk. I stayed in my position, and watched him put his backpack down and take his seat beside mine. So he was the science partner for me. Darn, I was probably better off alone. I didn’t know him too well, except he was very popular with his personality and as a troublemaker.
He sighed and sat down next to me, not even meeting my gaze or glancing at my side, as if I wasn’t even there.
Ms. Fletcher continued to explain about some assignment we were going to do for the rest of the period until the bell rang for next class, but I wasn’t paying attention again.
“Hey, I actually really don’t know about what’s going on in this classroom, except that Ms. Fletcher is very observant with everything you do. I really wasn’t paying attention,” I whispered to Dalton.
“It’s okay,” Dalton just shrugged. “I won’t pay attention either.”
“Okay! I hope you all brought a three-pronged folder for this class? If you could take it out and we’ll pass back sharpies. You’re going to right “Science Folder” and I will pass back the assignment and you will put in it your folders, and you may get started.”
As soon as Ms. Fletcher gave the students at the front desk the papers and sharpies to pass back, the class started taking out their folders and talking. I rolled my eyes and reached into my backpack for my folder.
“Nikki? Can you please turn your phone off?” Ms. Fletcher was in front of me, smiling with raised eyebrows.
I kept myself from swallowing. “Yes,” I said quietly. I took out my cell phone and she watched as it vibrated and turned off.
“Okay, and can you please give it to me?” She reached out her hand.
I glanced up at her and handed my phone to her. “Thank you. Next time, you don’t text in class, especially in my class. I’ll be nice right now and let you choose when you want your detention to be.”
I bit my tongue. “Today after school,” I shrugged. There wasn’t anything important to do today anyway.
“Okay, it will be half-hour. You will enjoy my detention,” she winked. “You should know what I do to kids in my detention of you were really paying attention.” And she walked away. “I have to warn you, I may have been fun today, but I can be evil when I want to.” She announced to the class in a friendly tone.
I stared after her as she walked away to speak to Ashton. She held my phone. I was biting my lip angrily, it got sore.
“You were texting in class?” Dalton was looking at me now with a naughty smile.
I gave a snotty smile back. “Yeah, I really didn’t mean to, though. I didn’t know I had brought my phone until it vibrated.”
Dalton shrugged. “I text in class all the time. Sometimes I get away with it, sometimes I don’t, but I still do it anyway.”
I gave a small chuckle without looking at him, still looking at my phone. “Darn it, and I was so pissed when I thought I left it at home, then I was happy to see I actually had it.”
“Hey, do you have an extra folder? I barely bought anything for school.”
“Nope, sorry. I didn’t buy much for school either.”
“Hey, Nate! Do you have an extra folder?”He yelled across the room to the tall boy sitting at desk 6.
“Alright, before we start our assignment, we’re going to do a quick little thing,” Ms. Fletcher announced.
Dalton muttered a cuss word.
“I want you all to get to know your science partners since your science partners will be working with you whenever I ask you to, or during labs or stuff like that. In the beginning of the freshmen’s year, we do this kind of stuff so we get to know each other and make friends easier, so you’re going to tell to your partner, your name, age, what elementary and middle school you went to, and something interesting about you.”
As soon as the class started chattering, I sighed and looked at Dalton.
“Dalton, I’m fifteen, went to Anaheim for Elementary, and went to Raney Intermediate for middle school,” he spoke quickly, “and the only thing interesting about me is that I can do this with my hand.” He took his right wrist and twisted it almost all the way around.
“Ew!” I slightly flinched and frowned. “I can do this,” I took my fingers from my right hand and pushed them all the way back. They were double-jointed.
“Dang, you have long fingers,” he winced.
“Yeah, I know. Jessie’s got really weird fingers on her left hand. Some fingers are taller or shorter than the ones on her right.”
“Jessie’s a freak,” scoffed Dalton, eying her from across the room to where she was giggling with Ashton. I saw her give him a slap on the shoulder. “She’s got this freakin’ hairdo that looks so stiff and ugly purple.”
“She wants her hair to be the sexiest thing about her so she made it purple since she thinks it’s a better color on her.”
Dalton muttered a name about her and he laughed. “It would be so funny if she had her hair cut somehow, she would so freak out.”
I didn’t tell him that she once did in the eighth grade, when we were doing a science experiment on snakes.
We spent the rest of the period working on the assignment Ms. Fletcher gave us on middle school review.
As the bell rang for the next class, I slowly packed up my stuff, but Dalton was out in a flash. As soon as the bell rang, he rapidly took his backpack, still left open, and ran to the door, catching up with a group of boys I knew- Nate, William, and Anthony.
He had left his science paper on his desk. There was nothing written on it. Not even his name.
“Bye, guys! Have a wonderful day! You have no homework but to get that slip signed by your parents,” Ms. Fletcher called.
I saw that there had been a small slip passed out on our desks that introduced Ms. Fletcher and her science to our parents. Dalton had left his on his desk.
I winced. I guess I was going to have to take it to him. I really would’ve chosen not to, but I guess it would be the right thing. I had already seen he had forgotten it. I chewed my tongue.
“Nikki!!! Hurry up!” Complained Jessie at the door.
I huffed and shoved all my crap into my backpack and shot up without pushing my chair in. I half-ran to Jessie, tripping over Dalton’s chair, as he hadn’t pushed it in either. I nearly fell over with my heavy backpack, but I managed to stomp myself up, spinning around clumsily, angrily yelling out a cuss word.
Jessie laughed. “You’re so clumsy! You’re even dumber than me sometimes!”
I swallowed, knowing I had yelled out a cuss word. I looked and saw Ms. Fletcher peeking out of her back door, talking to the teacher next door. Thank goodness, I thought.
“Shoot, let’s get outta here,” I hissed, smirking. We ran out the classroom.
I pulled out my class list. “Okay, Mrs. Lockard, who teaches exploratory art. She’s right next door!”
“So do you like Ms. Fletcher?” I asked as we walked to the line in front of room F2.
“Yeah, she’s awesome. She was nice to me when I needed help on that assignment. And she talks a lot!” Jessie was smiling. “It’s just Ashton I don’t want to sit next to. He’s a jerk.”
Ashton wasn’t a jerk at all, though he was annoying sometimes. I actually trusted him completely for almost anything. “I’m next to Dalton,” I chuckled. “He left his stuff at his desk.”
“Oh, you’re taking it to him?”Jessie saw the papers in my hand. “Why? You should put all the wrong answers for him and get him in trouble. Just leave his name on there!”
“He doesn’t have his name! I probably would do that, if he was Jeremy, or something like that, but he’s actually kinda cool to me right now.”
“Yeah, and then you’ll make friends with him, and then he gets to know you. Once he knows you, he’s a complete jerk. And you’re always like that with people when they get to know you. They get all chatty and mess around a lot. And you don’t want that to happen with Dalton, he’s too ambitious. He cheats and gets suspended a lot.”
I shrugged. “Oh, well. I only have him as a science partner. We may get to know each other a little more, but not that much.”
But I was wrong, for Ms. Lockard, a short teacher with short brown hair, seated us into different tables. I was next to Analiese, across me was Jenny, and next to her was Dalton, as I had read on the chart.
“All right, all right, sit in your seats! We have lots of stuff to do once we get settled,” called Mrs. Lockard. The class slightly quieted down and I sighed, smirking, making my way to my seat, which was at a table in the back corner right by the door.
“Hey, Nikki,” Analiese gave me a grimace. She and I teased each other a lot because we were good friends.
“Great, I’m with you and Jenny. We’re gonna annoy this teacher a lot,” I gave a sideways smile to Jenny.
“Huh! Ms. Lockard and I met several times before when I was here with Lynn after school! She will get annoyed with you, whether you’re with us or not,” laughed Jenny.
Dalton came in and turned. He met my gaze then rolled his eyes. “Aw, great! I’m the only guy at my table!” He didn’t sound mad, he had a slight laugh to his tone.
Jenny smiled innocently. “Yeah, you’re probably lucky it doesn’t include Jessie.”
“And you left your science crud on your desk,” I smirked, sliding the papers to him.
“Yeah, I meant to do that, I hate science,” he snatched the papers and shoved them in his backpack.
“Oh, okay. Sorry, then,” I replied sarcastically. I pulled my backpack and heavily dropped next to my chair.
Dalton looked up. “Hey, what did your backpack say?”
I looked at him and paused.
Analiese giggled. “Show him, Nikki.”
I gave her a quick annoyed look then smiled. “Nothing. Just a small phrase.”
I pulled my black backpack up and showed him the front, where, written in read, were the words, “Don’t play games with bitches that know how to play ‘em betta.” And to the bottom right corner was a picture of a hand giving off the finger.
Jenny raised her eyebrows twice at Dalton. “That used to be my backpack.”
“Nikki, you buy weird stuff,” Analiese winced at me.
“You’ve got weird hair,” I shot back, raising an eyebrow at her then turning away.
“Shut up,” muttered Analiese. “I’ve got cool hair,” she sounded sarcastic as she took a strand of her front hair. She had blonde hair with brown streaks, and the exotic thing about her hair was that it was long in the front and short in the back. She had to keep the front part pushed to the side since it was long enough to cover her face to her chin.
“You really need to change it so that you have the hairstyle with one side longer than the other. Not the front part longer than the back,” I teased. I always made fun of Analiese in a way to let her know I was her friend, and she knew that, though Jessie taunted her since she really didn’t like her.
“Yeah, like my hair is long on both sides,” Dalton added.
I turned to Dalton, about to add a comment, but as I saw him shoving his hair back in front of Jenny, I stared. He was dirty blonde, long hair, but not like James’s kind of long hair, not long enough to look like a girl’s short haircut to the shoulders, but quite long. I would normally think it was the weird hair, but on him, it looked….a little better.
“Okay! Quiet down! No talking,” Mrs. Lockard raised her voice and the class quieted down.
“Sit in your seat properly!” she snapped at Dalton in a way that made her sound rather friendly than strict.
I noticed that Dalton was sitting on his knees on his chair. He turned to meet Mrs. Lockard’s strict-friendly gaze with a wince, then sat properly. I heard a laugh from Nate.
“Alright, welcome to art. I have to tell you that this is your exploratory class only for this trimester,” Mrs. Lockard sounded formal, not friendly or strict, or anything, “The next trimester you all may have computer class or Spanish. Now, we’re gonna get started right away with art projects since people are always slow when it comes to art projects.”

“Hey! Dalton! Gimme my freakin’ eraser!” Jenny hissed, snatching her eraser from Dalton.
“What is going on here?” Mrs. Lockard snapped in her strict, but friendly-in-a-way tone. She was wincing at us. “What’s your name? Uh… Dalton?” She glanced down at her paper. “I might’ve put you as the only boy in your table for a reason, you know.” Some kids snickered and looked at Dalton.
Dalton winced. “I know Jenny like a sister almost. Her and I annoy each other like hell.” He sideways smiled. I couldn’t help staring and admiring his sideways smile. He looked so….attracting when he smiled like that.
“Now, don’t use that language in my class! You make sure you get along with those girls or I’ll have you sitting by yourself!” Mrs. Lockard didn’t sound scary when she said it, like most strict teachers sound, but she sounded rather like she was playing along with him, though she wasn’t smiling to show it.
The class murmured and starting giggling.
Mrs. Lockard shook her head and rolled her eyes. “Okay! Back to where we were! We will start off with a small, simple art project, one I start with every year with you freshmen people. You are going to be drawing a sketch of your face partner and here’s the hard part. You need to make sure you keep your pencil on the paper as you draw, without lifting it up.” She showed us a demonstration of her drawing a face on the whiteboard. “You also want to make sure you’re looking at what you’re drawing than your drawing itself. Don’t be focusing on your drawing on the paper too much, look at what you’re drawing while you draw.”
Dalton looked at me and winced, holding a hand up. “How the hell are we supposed to draw right if we can’t lift up the pencil? Or look at our drawing? That’s messed!”
I winced and shrugged. “I’m not a very good drawer anyways.”
We began the sketching after Mrs. Lockard demonstration, and the class was pretty chatty here in art. I looked around and saw that there was a table in front of the white board, in front of Anthony’s table, where Jessie sat at the bottom right hand corner with James diagonally across from her, and Ashton in front of her and Sam right next to her. Sam was Gabriel’s ugly twin brother, with his hair more flat like a girl’s haircut, a little longer than James’s. And he had uglier eyes, they were droopy and dull, and he had a boring voice. He hates me, and I know it. I always flirt around with him to scare him.
“Great, you wanna go first? I’m a terrible drawer,” Analiese asked Jenny.
“Yeah, I know. You are,” I said.
Analiese ignored me. “You’re a good drawer anyway.”
Jenny shrugged. “Sure.”
I sighed and looked at Dalton. “You can go first. I don’t wanna be screwing up drawing like this.” But then I regretted it. I noticed that part of me actually wanted to draw him, to get a better look at him. His eyes were wider and greener than mine.
Analiese nudged me again as if she could read my thoughts and gave me a raised eyebrow.
I would’ve shot a hurtful insult at her, but not in front of Dalton. Thankfully, he seemed to have taken no notice.
“No way, I’m gonna be messing up even worse. You’ll look like a freak in my drawing,” he laughed.
“Yeah, Nikki,” Analiese said sassily. “He’ll make you look even more like a freak than you already are. Why don’t you just draw first?”
“Oh, shut up and go kiss Jeremy,” I snapped teasingly at her, though it sounded more like a taunting insult than it meant to be. But I didn’t care.
“Oh! You like Jeremy, that’s right!” Dalton said, pointing at Analiese.
“Yeah, so? Got a problem with that? I know who Nikki likes even though she’s with Gabriel.”
I bit my tongue and held my breath as I had an idea if what Analiese was going to say, something not even true.
Luckily, Jenny butted in. “Yeah, she’s going out with Gabriel, we all know that, now hold still, An.” She was already sketching Analiese.
“Dude, nobody, like, knows about you and Gabriel together. He asked you out on the last day of eighth grade,” Dalton was looking at me.
I blinked. “Uh, yeah, it’s cool.” I stuttered, then kicked myself hard in the shin for sounding so cheesy.
“Gabriel’s awesome but Sam’s a freak,” Dalton scoffed.
“Yeah, Sam’s a homo, I hate him,” I met his gaze more clearly. “He hates me, so I scare him purposely.”
“Nice, I hate Sam. I think he’s bi,” Dalton smiled at me in his naughty way that made me almost stare into his eyes. I started to feel weird, but I didn’t lean away.
“Yeah,” I agreed.
“Well, just saying,” Analiese spoke, smirking, “I think Nikki still may crush on other people even though she’s going out.”
I gave Analiese a serious glare, this time meaning it.
“What?” She winced at me, pushing her long front hair to the side. “Everyone does. Like, Jessie likes lots of people out there and she’s going out with James.”

“Stop talking, start drawing,” Mrs. Lockard snapped.
I looked at her. “How are we supposed to draw correctly without lifting up the pencil?” I was naughtily smiling at her.
“That’s why this is art class! Figure it out yourself!” Mrs. Lockard replied and walked away to Jessie’s table, where she was loudly laughing with her table.
“Geez, Jessie and Sam. Sitting next to each other. That just looks messed,” said Dalton, turning over his back to look. Then he turned to me. “No, you go first, I’m not drawing you. You look hard to draw.”
I grimaced at him. “Fine.” I made sure Analiese wasn’t watching me as I took my pencil. “If you end up looking retarded, sorry.” I said, raising my eyebrows.
Dalton shrugged and watched me as I drew without lifting my pencil.
Mrs. Lockard came over again when I was almost finished with the face.
“Okay, look. His face isn’t that pointy. You want to make this drawing as best as you can, at least someone could have a guess of who it is. Here, start over,” she took another sheet of white construction paper. “Like I said, don’t look at your drawing too much, you should be focusing on him than your drawing.”
Dalton snickered. I looked at him, wincing. “I wasn’t even finished to have someone guess who it is.” And I didn’t even start drawing his eyes.
I sighed and drew again. Oh well, I thought to myself. It gave me another chance to keep looking at him again. This time I focused more. I realized I was focusing too much that I was messing up.
Dalton raised his eyebrows and started snickering at my drawing. “Dude! Nikki! What the hell?”
“Huh?” I looked down. “Oh,” I held my laugh and raised my hand as Mrs. Lockard walked by again. “Um, can I start over? I barely drew anything this time.” I was smiling and blushing.
“Yeah. Construction papers behind you,” said Mrs. Lockard. “I didn’t say don’t watch your drawing at all, I just said don’t be focusing on it as much.”
I smiled and took another construction paper.
“Nice, Nikki,” Jenny smirked at me.
This time, I focused on him more, and my drawing as well. Finally, I was getting to his eyes. I paused before I started. How should I draw his expression? Should he be naughtily smiling? I looked and saw that Analiese was already drawing Jenny.
“Uh, how do you want to look? You wanna be smiling, or anything?” I asked.
He shrugged, keeping his eyes on my drawing. “I don’t care. Just don’t draw me smiling, that’s gay.”
I drew his eyes slowly, trying not to make them look too big, and eventually, got to the nose, then gave him a straight expression with slight boredom. I smiled quickly at the drawing.
I heard Mrs. Lockard approaching. She looked at my drawing. “No, see how his nose is more pointy, not like he’s punched in the face? And look, his hair doesn’t look that thick. It’s thin and hangs down more, a little like Gabriel’s, but thinner and shorter. That is not how he looks like. Start over.”
I groaned this time. Dalton rolled his eyes and sat up. I was getting annoyed with Mrs. Lockard now. As soon as she went away, Dalton looked at me and gave a small laugh. “Dude, you keep starting over, like, five times.”
I rolled my eyes. “Dude, she’s stupid,” I pointed at Mrs. Lockard, looking over at Ashton’s drawing. “I think she likes having me start over.”
I started over for the last time, and barely drew anything until the bell rang for next class.

I was frowning in confusion as I made my way to history class. History class has always been my least favorite class. My head suddenly cleared as I realized I was walking right behind Dalton, Nate, William, and Anthony. I actually got a better look at all of them together now that I was right there right behind them. Dalton, I already had a good look several times already today, but even though I’ve known them all since middle school, I never really paid much close attention. Nate was tall, he had spiked his blondish hair since eighth grade, so that now he looked even taller and older, though I was probably his height already anyways, and he always wore skinny jeans, showing his tall, stick figure. William was tall also, but with long black curly hair almost like a girl’s haircut, though not as straight. He was tall also, and sounded more laid back than Nate. Anthony was black, a little shorter than them, but still around Ashton’s height, and always had sagging pants and the shirts he wore were always too big for him. He had earrings, haha.
They were all talking about the teachers and laughing rudely.
“Dude, that strict P.E. teacher that kept yelling, Mr. Albrecht, he’s probably going to hate you, there’s always one teacher on the first day who gives you detention,” said Nate.
“I expected Mrs. Lockard to give me detention!” Dalton scoffed. “She’s freakin’ retarded, she yells at us for picking up our pencil when we draw.”
“Yeah, it’s stupid! Who draws without paying attention to their drawing and taking off the pencil?” said Anthony.
“Eh, so far Ms. Fletcher’s the best teacher here, actually,” Nate said, sounding less rude.
“Ms. Fletcher’s awesome, she’s not giving us homework for the rest of the week,” said William.
I rolled my eyes. “She gave me detention,” I said roughly.
They turned. “Haha, of course you got detention! You suck at making friends with teachers!” Nate laughed, pointing at me.
I shrugged. “I make friends with teachers eventually, once they get to know me.”
“Yeah, me too,” said Dalton. “They all hate me the first day, then after several detentions, we’re like friends.”
“You never make friends with some teachers,” said William, smiling.
“I just got detention for texting,” I said, sideways smiling. “And Ms. Fletcher probably doesn’t like me already.”
Our teacher in history was a young teacher with wide light green eyes, named Mrs. Palmer. She was short, lots of us were taller that her. When we were seated, I was in the back tables with Gene in front of me, Ashton next to me, and a strange tall redheaded girl named Jessica. In a way, she looked a lot like Jessie, her long, long red-violet hair with the same cone-shaped face, except her hair didn’t stick out back like Jessie’s did, it hung nicely down and made a swirl as it reached her hips. She had smaller eyes, they were a piercing dark brown instead of alert and blue, like Jessie’s. She had eyeliner that was a darker purple than Jessie’s.
I looked at Ashton with raised eyebrows. “Wow, awesome. I’m next to you now.”
Ashton sighed. “Great. And we have Anthony,” he added, smirking at Anthony.
“Yeah, and William’s right behind you,” he added.
I turned and William was sitting right behind me at another table. I looked around and saw that Dalton was all the way across the room a to the left of the table in front of us, sitting with Jessie, Sam, and an empty desk next to him.
“Ha!” I laughed. “Look at Dalton. He’s sitting with Jessie and Sam.”
Anthony turned, smirking. “Hey, Dalton! Have fun with Jessie!”
I could see that Dalton was talking with Jessie, though I could only see his unpleased facial expressions and annoyance as they laughed. He turned. “Oh, yeah, Danielle’s sitting at this empty desk, how ‘bout that? What the hell, this is the weirdest table I’ve been in so far!”
“I thought it was the table in art when you’re the only guy there!” I said, eying him with a small smile.
“Yeah, that too, but I’d rather be there than with freakin’ Jessie!” He met Jessie’s sassy gaze with annoyance in his eyes. So attracting, I strangely thought, they way his eyes looked when he was annoyed or surprised. I didn’t notice I was staring into him without blinking until Mrs. Palmer’s voice sounded over the chatting class.
“All right, quiet please,” she had a soft voice, and a kind look to herself, shiny light brown hair and large green eyes.
“Hey, she might be the nicest teacher so far,” I muttered to Ashton.
“She’s not,” Jessica’s sharp, quiet voice made me turn my gaze to her quickly. She was looking at Mrs. Palmer without her head turned to her, her piercing dark eyes eying Mrs. Palmer with some of her hair covering part of her right eye. “She’s pretty darn strict when she wants to be, actually.”
The class had quieted down a little, except for Jessie’s slight cracking up that made some people turn their attention to her. I saw she had thrown a crumpled up paper at Dalton, and leaning back in her chair, covering her giggling face. Dalton looked like he had been laughing also, as he bent down to pick up the paper under his desk. Sam was turned to the teacher, trying to ignore them, but he was obviously holding back a laugh as he was smiling as well.
“Is there a problem, Jessie?” Mrs. Palmer asked calmly, raising her eyebrows.
Jessie turned to her, holding back her giggle. “No!” She replied quickly in a laughing tone.
“Can I please see the paper, Dalton?”
“It’s just a picture from her magazine with drawing over it,” he said, laughing a little as he handed it to her.
She looked at it. I couldn’t see what it was, but it was a paper from a magazine.
“Okay, then. Dalton, do you think you can handle sitting next to Jessie, or do I have to move you?”
“No, I’m fine,” he replied, giving Jessie an eying look with a slight naughty smile.
For the rest of the period, Mrs. Palmer just introduced herself, talked about how she teaches history and stuff, and she seemed like a pretty nice teacher, for today at least.
The bell rang for lunch, and I didn’t realize how hungry I was, for it was 12:50 already, and it was over four hours since I had last eaten something.
“Dayumm!” Jessie said as she caught up with me. “That was the hottest picture of a football player! And Mrs. Palmer won’t even give it back!”
I laughed. “Weren’t there scribbles over it?”
“Oh, yeah, Dalton drew facial expressions and a bunch of other retarded stuff all over him, but that just made him kinda look cuter and funnier.” Jessie gave out an annoyed moan. “I hate where I sit! Sam’s retarded! He won’t stop giving me weird looks, and Dalton called me a female dog to my face!” She gave me an exasperated look on her face.
I couldn’t help throwing back a look like I was holding back a laugh. “You should’ve said something like that back to him!”
We saw that the lunch area wasn’t much different from middle school, as well as the terribly long line for where the most popular foods were.
“Ugh, I don’t wanna wait here. Let’s cut in front of Ashton! He’s all the way to the front almost!” Jessie said.
I was just about to reply until I caught Dalton coming over from the corner of my eye. He had a frustrated look on his face as he stood behind us.
“Mrs. Palmer gave me detention for texting in class!” He said scornfully, facing me and Jessie with his annoyed look in his eyes. I tried not to show how much it affected me.
I grimaced. “Huh! I got detention for texting also, as you’ve noticed in Ms. Fischer’s class.”
“Dalton, you were so texting! I saw you take your phone out of your backpack and turn it on vibrate then started texting,” Jessie was smiling sassily at him.
“Dude! I’ve got half hour detention for P.E. and half hour for Mrs. Palmer!” He yelled out a cuss word and spit to the side of Jessie’s foot.
We were chatting and laughing in line until Jessie got into a strange argument with Dalton that had him rudely walking away from her to join Nate.
I looked up and blinked as a drop hit my eye. “It’s just starting to rain.” I gave her a look with raised eyebrows.
“Oh,” Jessie said quietly, smiling to the side of her face, looking at Dalton across the area.
Jessie started laughing. “Ha! What the heck? He seriously…”
I wasn’t listening to what she was saying. I stared at him as he started laughing with Nate, William, and Anthony, where they sat with Ashton, Analiese, Jenny, James, Brock, and everyone else. Why was it that every time he came around I felt so drawn to him? It couldn’t be a crush, I knew it when I had a crush on somebody. Like my first boyfriend for once. My first boyfriend in middle school, before Gabriel, had me drawn to him with a feeling of wanting to look at him all day, be with him all day. As I reminded myself of those feelings, and then thought of Dalton, I probably really did have a crush on him. I probably just never admitted it to myself since he was too wild and known for his unpleasant behavior, but I was drawn to that.
“Hey, what’s wrong with you, Nikki? You staring at somebody?” Jessie asked rudely.
“Hey, will you be here after school? I’m going to be having detention in Ms. Fletcher’s class.” I said scornfully, changing the subject.
“I ain’t staying after school unless I end up getting detention myself. So have fun with Dalton after school.”
It sprinkled, though so little that there were still stupid people outside. I sat with Jessie, James, Jenny, Ashton, Gabriel, Sam, Analiese, Tess, Tesseline, and Dalton, Nate, William, and Anthony at the table all the way to the right end. We joked and laughed loudly, messing around like teenagers do when they’re in big groups, and I couldn’t help noticing Nate, William, Anthony and Dalton as they were the loudest and most inappropriate.
A tall man that I remembered from this morning as Mr. Pietroch, the principal, tapped Dalton on the back. “Is this your mess?” He asked casually.
“No, it’s all there’s, they threw it at me,” he replied, smirking, pointing at Nate, William, and Anthony.
“No! It was ours and he turned it into that mess!” Said Nate.
“Well, just clean it up, okay? We only have one janitor at school right now,” said Mr. Pietroch and walked away. Dalton stared after him, smirking.
Just then, the bell rang and everyone looked around in confusion.
“Is that seriously the bell?” I said. “Lunch couldn’t be that short!”
“What the heck?! It couldn’t be over already!” Shouted Jeremy.
Everyone started getting up, until the lunch ladies blew their whistles and told us not to go anywhere.
“Wait, that was the ten minute bell!” Said Ashton.
Everyone started groaning and walked back under the trees at the right end of the benches.
Dalton yelled a cuss word, stomping his foot.
For the next ten minutes, we just hung out around under the trees, joking around about stuff, then we made our way to math class.
Mr. Valentino was our math teacher, and he seemed like a nice guy, he had a smile on his face as he was telling us our seats. In this classroom, the seats were arranged in rows rather than tables, and I ended up being in the middle, where Danielle was in front of me, and Dalton right behind me.
“Oh, great, Nikki. You’re between me and Danielle,” said Dalton, smirking as he took his seat behind me.
I rolled my eyes and gave him a sideways smile. “Yeah. And it’s between in front and behind me, not between to my right and my left.”
“You’ve got complete strangers between you to your left and right side,” said Dalton. I looked, and I was surrounded by people I didn’t even know to my right.
Mr. Valentino turned out to be a funny, talkative teacher, talking a lot about the past students in Redwood, and gossiped about the senior students’ past, even mentioning my brother Edward once. He was humorous, keeping us entertained the whole period, and even got into conversations with a lot of us.
Then for last period, I had language arts, and our teacher turned out to be a lady named Mrs. Estelle. She wore black glasses and had dark black hair, and she had a lazy-sounding voice when she smiled and announced, “All right, I have your seats on the seating chart, the whiteboard is at the bottom of the chart, and you figure out where you sit from that point of view.”
“Crap, I better not be seated next to Jeremy, I’m already next to you in history,” I said rudely to Ashton, though giving him a sassy smile to let him know I meant it in a good way. He shrugged and sat down at a table in the middle.
I found myself in the back- again- and sat in the left seat of the table, back turned towards the front door.
“Ohhh! Nikki! Sup?” I looked over and saw that Nate was sitting in front of me. He dropped his backpack heavily down.
“Hey, Nate,” I greeted foxily.
“Oh! Oh! Nooo! No, way!” Came Jessie’s whiny voice. She was eying Nate with dismay.
“Dammit! I’m next to you and Nikki! That’s just the perfect table!” Said Nate, though with a naughty grin.
“Argh! No way I’m sitting next to you!” Jessie hysterically threw her backpack down with a heavily thud.
“Jessie? Is there a problem?” Mrs. Estelle asked from the doorway.
Jessie looked at her with a smile held back. “No,” she answered casually and giggled as she settled in her seat diagonally from me and next to Nate.
“Hey, who else is in our table?” I leaned forward to get a better look at the overhead.
Then suddenly, Jeremy’s loud laugh sounded from the front door and Dalton was pushed against our table, bumping Jessie’s desk out of place.
“What the heck’s your problem?” She gave him a slight slap on the shoulder.
“Ow!” He yelled a cuss word at Jeremy, laughing.
Dalton turned to the empty seat at our table and looked around. “Oh, great! I sit next to you again, Nikki! Geez!”
“Well, guess who else you sit next to again!” I grinned sassily.
“Ew!” Jessie flinched in her seat, banging her desk loudly as she looked at Dalton in disgust.
Dalton turned to her with that annoyed expression in his eyes again. “Yeah, ew, I’m next to Jessie.” He rolled his eyes and reluctantly took his seat next to me.
“Dalton!” Nick said expressively.
“She’s going to realize what a mistake she’s made for putting you two in the same table,” I laughed.
“Not to mention me and Nikki,” giggled Jessie.
“I know, you and Nikki probably talk more than we will,” said Dalton.
“No, it’s going to be this entire table that’s going to fall apart by the end of this week,” said Nick.
For the rest of this class, there wasn’t anything important, the teacher just introduced herself, went over rules of the class and school, until the bell rang for school to finally be over.
“Googd-bye!” Called Mrs. Estelle as soon as kids stared rushing out the door. I would’ve also, but I remembered stupid detention.
“Dayumm,” I muttered, annoyed. “Hey, Jessie! I have detention in Ms. Fletcher’s class!” I hurried out the door to her. She was with James. “I can’t call my dad since my phone is in Ms. Fletcher’s class, so if you see him, tell him I’m in trouble and can’t come home just yet.”
“Uhhh! Why do you have to- hey, just ditch, okay?” Jessie laughed. “No, I’m kidding. Just meet me here, I’m coming to your house today, kay?”
“Sure. Analiese is coming also, she’s been wanting to sleepover since she didn’t get to over the break.”
Jessie flashed James an annoyed look. “Analiese? Oh, fine whatever. We’re going to go find your brother and bug the hell out of him.” Jessie quickly turned and pulled James with her.
I rolled my eyes. “Yeah, see you Jessie!” I called. I muttered curses under my breath as I made my way to Ms. Fletcher’s class. There were traces of different groups of kids here and there around campus, for you were allowed to stay after school until 5:00pm, and I saw some people entering Ms. Fletcher’s classroom.

“Nikki!” I turned and saw Dalton catching up to me from behind. “You have detention in Ms. Fletcher’s?”
“Yep. But I’m in trouble at home a lot when I’m with my dad anyway, so it’s nothing different,” I shrugged.
“Yeah, me too. And I’ve got detention in P.E., and Mrs. Palmer,” he said, his eyes wild with annoyance.
“Huh! I could ditch detention if I wanted, but I almost got suspended for that,” I said roughly.
“I used to ditch detention all the time,” laughed Dalton.
“Jessie ditches detention when she wants to,” I said.
“I hate Jessie, she’s a fag,” said Dalton rudely, spitting to the side. “She was so dumb in history. I was like, ‘why are you in the IB program if you know you’re stupid and lightheaded?’ And she’s all like, ‘this is the IB program?’”
I looked at him with dismay. “She said that?!”
“Hell, yeah,” said Dalton.
“What the- she didn’t even know we’re in the IB program again?” I started laughing.
The two of us laughed and chatted, and I felt a giddiness swelling up inside of me, for Dalton was kinda awesome to talk to. He was a lot like me when he talked. He expressed his feelings a lot, and laughed naughtily most of the time.
“Nikki? Are you coming in here? Or should your detention end later if you wanna waste time?” Came Ms. Fletcher’s voice from the classroom.
I gave Dalton an annoyed look, tilting my head to the side. “I have to go,” I muttered in a snotty tone.
“Yeah, me too, I’ll be here for like a whole damn hour,” said Dalton.
I rolled my eyes for him. “Yeah, see ya later,” and I turned quickly away from, hiding the bubbly expression on my face for having a conversation like that with him. I put Jessie’s flash drive in the pocket of my short sleeved black sweater top.
Ms. Fletcher popped up in front of the doorway before I was about to step in, and stopped as soon as she saw that I was already coming. She looked over my shoulder. “Are you having detention somewhere else, or are you here to help?”
I turned to see that Dalton was still standing there, staring over me with an expressionless look in his eyes. “No, I’ve got detention,” he answered casually without meeting Ms. Fischer’s gaze. He quickly walked away.
Ms. Fletcher turned to me. “Okay. If you were paying attention to what I said my detentions were like, then you should expect what you’re going to do. See that pile of dirty pens and tubes?” She pointed to the sink in the third station. “You are to clean those with the material that’s already set by the sink. Okay? Have fun!” She walked away to help the other students who had come in to stay after school.
I eyed her for a moment then harshly dropped my backpack to the side of the door. I lightly stomped my way over to station three. I saw a rough sponge and some dish soap. Didn’t she have gloves for this? I frowned and muttered as I started scrubbing the mold covered pens. Ew, what in the world was on these? As soon as I got to the tubes, they were just stained with different colors. I still had a hard time trying to scrub the darn thing off all the way. I tried to picture how it would be if Jessie had to do this stuff to entertain me a little.
Then I started thinking about Dalton. I looked up as I continued scrubbing, and fantasized strange things about him that I wouldn’t have expected to fantasize about him. I pictured how he would look in the locker room. Yes, I do have a weird, dirty mind. I knew he wouldn’t have abs like Gabriel, he was pretty scrawny and the side image of him was thin- Gabriel! How could I be thinking about Dalton when I was going out with Gabriel? OMG, I didn’t even look for him after school! What kind of stupid girlfriend was I?! I scrubbed harder in frustration, trying to take Dalton off my mind, but then I saw that I was scrubbing a green stain off the tube, which reminded me of the color of Dalton’s eyes. His attracting green eyes, wide with naughtiness….I really thought of how it would be like if I were to look into them, as he looked into mine, and how transfixed I would be….I probably would faint within five seconds of staring into them as he stared back.
What the hell am I thinking?! What’s wrong with me? Jessie says Dalton has scary, untrusting eyes, and of course I had agreed with that. I still do, though, they were scary in a deceiving way. I picked up a tube that was already cleaned and held it to my face. Though not a very good reflection, I could my green eyes that were big- but not too big- and I wondered if my eyes were really that attracting for Dalton to stare into in the first place. Gabriel said they were attractive, Ashton said they were, even Jessie and Sam said so, and I guess I agreed. I did have nice eyes, though Ashton and Analiese say they are scary as well, which was true also, but I still longed to stare into Dalton for as long as I wanted. He so was deceiving me, despite the fact that he was a naughty troublemaker and even Nick and his friends say he’s not worth anyone’s time.
Then I thought about Danielle, his girlfriend. She must think he was worth it, she asked him out herself near the end of eighth grade. The thought of her suddenly heated up my head and bite my tongue so hard until I noticed it started bleeding a tiny bit. I almost forgot he even had a girlfriend, she had been absent and I was so focused on him, and I thought of what she thinks of him. Could she have had the same feelings for him before she asked him out? What did he really think of her? Jealousy and evilness crawled through me like a snake going up a tree. Danielle was sort of my friend, she and I got along well, and she hung out with boys a lot, but she and I were almost friends, we talked some, but not too much. And Danielle herself wasn’t a mean person or anything at all, though she did act like she thought she was cool, always expressing herself and laughing and trying to joke around with everybody. And she did cry a lot. She was sensitive and the slightest thing could hurt her feelings, though the slightest things could make her laugh and act all that. No, she wasn’t blonde, she was brunette, hair medium length and straight, and she wasn’t too tall, though not too short, she was about 5’3. The thought suddenly came to me, making me wonder if I could be more attractive than her to Dalton. I wasn’t nice and pretty, everyone described me as slutty and smokin’ hot because of my dark crazy hair in ponytails sticking out like a rockstar’s since they weren’t brushed properly, because of my dark eyeliner, and because of my dark clothes making me look like an emo girl. I was also taller than her, I was 5’7, and I think I was only barely half an inch taller than Dalton, but that was probably only because of my ponytails sticking out, making me look barely even slightly taller. I had a stick figure, tall and skinny with almost a flat chest. Danielle had pretty big boobs, a lot bigger than mine at least. She was slim also, but I still wondered if Dalton would ever think of me over her in any way, if he got to know me and all.
My personality wasn’t anything like Danielle’s, she was sweet and understanding when she had to be- I was always hotheaded and forceful, though around my friends and other people, I was naughty and talkative in a way for people to enjoy me and feel cool around me. And I wasn’t like this for attention, I have always been this way, and popular around everyone, though I didn’t get along with certain people who thought I was too mean and rude. Well, they thought of Dalton that way as well, right? And for him, it wasn’t just certain people who thought of him as a stuck-up bad kid, it was pretty much everybody, but still, the both of us had quite a lot in common in personality, so wouldn’t he get to realize that and notice how good we could be together?
I huffed and squeezed my eyes shut angrily. What is wrong with you?! Just shut up about it! you’re with Gabriel! Sweet, but cool, awesome Gabriel! I thought forcefully to myself. Yes, Gabriel was my boyfriend, and I’m better off with someone like him rather than Dalton, or at least that’s what I’m trying to convince myself. Ugh! Of course, darn you! He’s your boyfriend! And plus, he was worth it and I really could trust him with stuff, and he had a better, nicer personality, though at the same time, he was popular and cool. Yes, Gabriel was perfect. He was sweet and caring, as well as cool and outgoing. But then I looked up again. What if Dalton was caring and trustworthy when he wanted to be? To me, he was obnoxious and mean, yet, he did seem as if he could have a good side.
“Nikki? Are you finished? You stopped scrubbing for a while,” Ms. Fletcher’s voice made me whip my head around in surprise to face her. She grinned. I gave a slight smile back. “Are you finished?” She repeated.
“Uh, no, almost,” I turned and saw that I still had two more tubes with barely any stains.
“Okay,” said Ms. Fletcher calmly. “You can just leave those there for another detention student, your time’s already up. And here’s your phone.” She handed me my black phone. I took it and put in my pocket on my short-sleeved sweater.
“Thanks,” I said quietly, though accidently in a sour tone.
Ms. Fletcher smiled as if she knew I hadn’t meant to sound like that. “Okay, so we know we’re not supposed to text or have our phones on in class? I don’t care whether you knew you had your phone or not. What you should’ve done was turn it off as soon as you realized you had it when you got the text message.”
How did she know I got a text message and realized I had my phone?
“How do I know you had a text message and that you didn’t know you didn’t have your phone?” It was as if she read my thoughts. “I have eyes everywhere,” she winked at me with a smile that showed friendliness, as well as trying to creep me out.
I nodded. “Yeah, I’m leaving now,” was all I could think of to say as I turned around, and I frowned with annoyance at myself for sounding so corny.
“Okay, bye, Nikki. Have a wonderful day,” she called in a friendly tone.
As soon as I left the classroom, I winced. Ms. Fletcher was strange, at least around me anyway. The look she had given me when she saw that I had stopped scrubbing made me wonder if she had any idea if she knew what I was so deep in thought about. And why leave me standing there like a moron if she already noticed how I had stopped working? Oh, well. Impossible for her to know exactly what I was thinking about. Impossible for anyone to know what I had been thinking about.
I looked around, and still saw a few people hanging around, though the campus was almost empty. I checked my phone. It was 4:00. I really wanted to see Dalton again, he would be out soon, so I sauntered around campus, making my way towards the P.E. area and saw Dalton talking to the Mr. Albrecht. From a distance, I could still see how red and tired he looked, and he was wincing as the teacher talked with him.
“Next time, you touch a girl at the appropriate spots or don’t touch her at all,” Mr. Albrecht said in his strict, firm voice. “I don’t care if she touched you first, the rule is guys can’t strike girls but girls can strike guys, I deal with that with my wife. And swallow.” Dalton frowned and paused. “You don’t chew gum on campus whether school’s over or not.”
“I just got it right now since I was leaving,” he said casually.
“Yeah, whatever. Just get outta here you’re finished.”
As soon as Dalton walked away, Mrs. Eckman came over, staring at Dalton and talking to Mr. Albrecht.
Dalton was headed my way, with a look of hatred on his face. his expression was a little disturbing and I turned and acted as if I had just gotten here.
“Oh, you’re finished?” I said as he appeared behind the wall towards me.
“I had to run a mile under eight minutes for Mr. Albrecht,” he scoffed, his eyes wide with annoyance at me.
I grimaced. “You had to run the whole time?”
“Yeah,” he replied rudely, spitting to his side as we walked. “Under eight minutes. I’m so pissed off. Hey, you want some gum?” He took out a pack of bubblegum.
“Sure,” I shrugged. I took one and chewed slowly, looking around for teachers.
“I chew gum in school all the time,” said Dalton.
I laughed. “I used to. But I kept getting caught.”
“I have to go to the office. I’ll be back,” he walked faster away from me before I could ask what for. I stared at him as he walked away. I noticed he had his pants loose and hanging down, showing a little of his boxers, like some boys wear their pants, I turned away, and smiled, blushing. It was uncommon for IB boys to wear their pants like that.
I looked again, then heard laughing to my left I looked and found Nate, William, Jessie, and Analiese laughing and hanging out around Mr. Valentino’s closed front door.
“Jessie! Dalton had your flash-drive!” I called, running over to them.
“Dalton did what?” Nate said casually with a naughty smile.
“He stole your flash-drive, Jessie,” I smiled as I handed it to her.
“What the-” Jessie snatched the flash drive away. “Oh, screw him! I’m gonna kill him when I see him. Let’s wait till he’s done with detention!”
“No, I’m gonna kill him,” laughed Nate.
“No, I am,” said William calmly, smiling sassy.
Nate messed up his curly hair. “Shut up, you love Dalton.”
“No, Dalton loves William,” I brought up. “You know that.”
“Yeah, he shouts his name out all the time!” Said Analiese. “And plus, I wanna kill him also. He stole some of my money during art, but he didn’t even buy a lunch.”
“Shut up! I’m killing Dalton!” Jessie snapped with an annoyed look on her face. Haha, I’ve always thought that look really suited her face.
“Nikki’s killing Dalton in science tomorrow,” William said, pointing at me and smiling in his calm way. “She’ll hate having him as a science partner by the end of the week.”
I winced with a smile and gave a short laugh. “I sit next to him for, like, every class except history!”
“Omigosh, that must suck,” said Analiese, rolling her eyes.
“Yeah, Nikki’s totally gonna kill him by the end of the week,” laughed Nate.
“Why do you guys all wanna kill him?” I asked in a formal tone with a sideways smile to disguise my concern.
“’Cause we all hate him!” Nate grinned.
“Guys, shut up, he’s coming!” Jessie started running towards Dalton as he appeared from behind a wall from the P.E. area, with a tired, angry look on his face.
“Dalton!” Nate called. “Watch out! Jessie’s gonna kill you!” He started snickering as he saw Dalton wince and swat Jessie’s arm away before she hit him.
“Get away from me, you female dog!” He snapped, walking around her.
I snickered and flashed Nate a smile with raised eyebrows.
Jessie turned as Dalton walked away, an offended look on her face.
“Get ‘em, Jessie,” muttered William and snickered.
Jessie’s lips puckered and she stomped forward and swat the back of his head.
“Owww!” Dalton spun around and faced her. “What the hell, you stupid mother-”
“Hey! You stole my flash drive, idiot!” She interrupted, looking at him with a half annoyed expression, and with a half happy expression.
“Yeah! And I was gonna throw it away, until Nikki took it!” I held my breath, afraid he was going to be mad at me, but luckily, he was too pissed at Jessie right now. He started cussing some bad language to Jessie, and Nate, William, and Analiese looked at each other and laughed, Nate and William clearly enjoying it, Analiese a little shocked and not liking it.
Jessie raised her eyebrows and gave him a sassy look. “Call me whatever you want, I’m stealing something from you tomorrow, just to let you know.”
“So? Like I care about anything I have. Go screw with James, b****,” he replied with a shrug.
Instantly and automatically, Jessie thwacked him on the forehead, hard enough to make him swing his head a little bit back, and Nate and William stopped snickering.
“Ooooh,” muttered Nate. William was still grinning.
I stared in dismay. Dalton had turned the other way, with a hand on his forhead, and Jessie’s lips were puckered with anger. I couldn’t see Dalton’s expression as he slowly turned to Jessie.
Suddenly, we heard footsteps approaching and Ms. Fletcher appeared, walking towards us. I kept my mouth closed formally, the small piece of gum on the middle of my tongue, looking like I had no gum at all.
“Nikki, spit out your gum,” Ms. Fletcher said as she walked passed Jessie and Dalton.
I frowned. What the hell? I met her gaze and picked out my gum.
“You guys have to leave soon, it’s almost 4:30,” said Ms. Fletcher as she disappeared behind the wall behind Mr. Valentino.
Nate and William turned towards where Ms. Fletcher went and started walking away. Analiese looked at me. “I’m going home with you, right?”
I was still frowning. “Yeah.” I answered without turning to her. I just threw my gum to the bushes.
Jessie came running towards me. “I’m coming too.” She gave Analiese a dirty look.
I looked over her shoulder. Dalton spit and headed towards us. “B****,” he muttered as he walked pass Jessie. “Hey, Nikki, is your brother home today?” My brother was well-known around my class, and knew Dalton pretty well.
“Nah, he’s with a study group for the rest of this week,” I replied. “Stupid nerd. But you can come anyway. Kenneth really hates you, and you can bug the heck outta him with me.”
“I wanna bug Kenneth!” Said Jessie.
“Yeah, Kenneth hates you too. He hates all of us!” Said a Dalton. “Sure, whatever, I’ll come.”

The four of us walked away from school, talking, and my dad was waiting for me with a tired look on his face. “In trouble, Nikki?”
“I was. But not right now,” I said, shrugging. I looked around. “Where’s Kenneth?”
“At home. Get in the car. Are all of you coming over?”
“Yep.” I hopped in the car in the back seat.
“No sleepovers,” he said as he sat in the driver’s seat.
I looked up at him and frowned. “What?! Jessie and Analiese’s parents already spoke with you!”
“Yeah, just Jessie and Analiese,” he gave me a serious look.
I rolled my eyes. “I know, dad.”
He looked at Dalton. “Sorry, we don’t have that much room at our house.”
He shrugged. “It’s okay, I don’t plan on sleeping over anyway.”
I looked at him as he sat next to me to my right. I felt a tinge of sorrow. I wanted him to sleepover, but it would be weird to ask now. Jessie sat next to me to my left and Analiese sat in the front.
“So what’s for dinner?” I leaned forward. “No meat, right?” I wasn’t exactly a vegetarian, I just rarely ate meat since I really didn’t like it.
Dad sighed. “We’re having chicken noodle soup, Nikki. And you’re going to eat it.”
“Ew! No way! Can I have beans instead of the chicken?”
“We don’t have beans, Nikki. Just eat what we have. You’ll like this chicken,” he replied in an aggravated tone.
“No, I hate meat, you know that,” I talked back. I leaned back in my seat. “Geez, your house never has anything good. Just a stupid little cousin and some lame science crap.”
My dad said nothing but I bet he rolled his eyes.
Dalton and I looked at each other and started snickering.
I leaned forward again. “Hey, one of us has to have Kenneth’s room since my room at your house is too small and messy. Kick him out before I do.”
“Then, clean up your room, Nikki,” dad said firmly. “I’m not telling Kenneth to get out of my house since this is the only time this week he’ll be at my house.”
“Why do you side with Kenneth so much? Seriously. You must love him.”
“Of course I love him,” dad replied.
I started snickering, making Jessie and Dalton snicker as well.
“Kenneth is really annoying, though,” Dalton said rudely, smiling. “He tried pulling my pants down the last time I came over.”
“Well, that’s ‘cause you were walking around with your pants loose, Dalton!” Said Analiese.
“Yeah, well, I bet he’ll be doing that when he gets older,” Dalton shot back, annoyance in his eyes as he glared at Analiese and turned away.
“Hey, dad. So are you finally going to clean my stupid room now?” I said.
“No, you clean your own room.” He replied, annoyed.
“Why? It’s not even my room. It’s just a room at your house. And plus, I don’t want to clean it up.”
“Why not?” He sighed.
“I’m too lazy. Just tell Kenneth to move his butt or I’m kicking it out.”
“I’ll do it!” Said Jessie. “I’d like to kick him out.”
“No one’s kicking Kenneth out, okay? Just be quiet and clean your room if you want anyone sleeping over, Nikki,” dad snapped at me, and sighing heavily and with annoyance as he sped the car up.
I leaned back and smiled at Dalton, who was smirking at my attitude towards my dad. “He loves Kenneth.”
Whenever Dalton did come over, it was only to see Edward, and him and I didn’t hang out too much to know each other too well.
My dad always treated me like I was always giving him a hard time, partly because I actually mostly did. I always voiced out my thoughts like I always did, and my dad, who was a very personal man, was always annoyed with my attitude towards him, and pretty much sighed at everything I said. I purposely bugged him like that just to tease him around.
When we got home, dad went to prepare dinner, and my dad’s tracking dog, Jack, a Labrador retriever, came over to greet us. He was a big dog, calm and very loyal, and we all gave him a pat before he went over to sit by dad’s side in the kitchen. Kenneth was sitting in the living room, watching TV, eating a Popsicle.
“Hey, Kenneth! Jessie’s sleeping in your room tonight. And I’m having the last Popsicle in the freezer.” I called.
“No way Jessie’s sleeping in my room! Screw you!” He yelled.
“Yeah? what about Analiese?” I shrugged.
“What about me? Nah, I’m kidding,” said Dalton.
Kenneth sat up. “Ew! Dalton’s here! Darn it! Uncle Spruce! Can I go back to mom’s house?”
“You’re staying here with me tonight,” dad sounded more cheerful and awake now, speaking to Kenneth. “Sorry, but Nikki’s friends are here, and I’ll make sure they behave.”
“Oh, shut up, dad!” I scoffed at him. I started walking up the stairs with Jessie, Analiese, and Dalton. “You stick up for Kenneth so much ‘cause you love him, why not let him sleep with you in your room tonight so someone else can have his stupid room?” Jessie started laughing.
I felt something cold hit the back of my head. I whipped my head around and saw that Kenneth had thrown his Popsicle at me, and he was glaring up at us. Furious, I turned to react, but Dalton had taken his broken library book and threw it at Kenneth, hitting him on the head, which ruined the book even more. He flinched and put a hand on his head. Before he started complaining, I just took my whole backpack and threw it down at him, but he ran away.
“Daaaad! They’re throwing things at me!” He yelled angrily.
“Quick! Go!” I pushed Jessie up the stairs and we all snickered as we ran to my room.
“Nikki!” My dad called firmly.
“What!” I was ready to close my door.
“Get down here right now!”
“No!” I yelled back and slammed my door shut.
Dalton started laughing. “Geez, you’re such a b**** to your dad.”
“I know,” I smiled.
“Oh, she’s worse than that, trust me, me and Ashton have seen her worse,” said Analiese, raising her eyebrows.
“Yeah, whatever,” I looked around. “I guess we’ll have to clean up this room since my stupid cousin is still existing and no one can have his room.”
“Uhhh, I don’t feel like cleaning,” complained Jessie. But we cleaned anyway, and chatted while we cleaned. My room was messy with a bunch of posters hanging, most almost falling off the wall, and a bunch of clothes scattered everywhere with traces of makeup stuff, magazines, and even some hair.
“Dang, you’ve got a lot of crap in here, Nikki,” said Dalton as he kicked away a pile of ripped magazines.
“Yep. My room in my mom’s house has more stuff, though, it’s not as messy.” I said.
Just then, there were multiple bangs at the door and footsteps running away, with the sound of Kenneth’s snickering.
“What the hell?” Said Dalton.
I dropped a pile of clothes I was carrying. “Damn Kenneth.” I stomped over to the door.
“Kill him, Nikki! Sheesh,” said Jessie.
As soon as I opened the door, Kenneth was there again, but he ran away. I chased after him. “Stay away from my room, you stupid freak!” I caught up with him, and pushed him to the front of the stairs.
“Owww!” He complained. He got up and pulled my sweater, making me fall on the stairs, hitting my side.
I heard Jessie and Dalton approaching. “What the- Nikki! You okay?” Jessie gasped.
No, I was not okay. I shot up, pissed off, and grabbed Kenneth’s hair, pulling him forward, making him scream, and pushed him down the stairs, making him roll to the bottom. He yelled and cried as he ran over to the kitchen where dad was preparing dinner.
“Nice, Nikki!” Dalton laughed a little, though I could see the surprise in his eyes.
Jessie laughed and gave me a high-five. I smirked. “My dad’s gonna kill me now.”
“Geez, you could’ve killed Kenneth!” Dalton was grinning. “I wish I could do that to my older brother, I really want him dead.”
“Nikki! Get down here!” This time my dad sounded furious.
“No!” I yelled back.
“Please?” He called firmly.
I looked at Jessie and Dalton, wincing. “No way! You come up here!”
“And then push him down the stairs!” Snickered Dalton.
“Guys, dinner’s ready, get down here,” dad called.
“Whatever,” I muttered.
Analiese appeared from my room. “I cleaned up the rest while you guys were fighting with Kenneth.” She said indignantly.
“You know what? Shut up. He started it, okay?” Jessie winced at her.
When we were in the kitchen, I saw that there were five bowls of chicken noodle soup with some vegetables, and one plate of a chicken leg and some noodles with two carrots. I winced at the plate and sat down in front of a bowl a chicken noodle soup, next to Dalton.
“Who’s eating the gross drumstick and rotten noodles?” I asked sassily, taking my fork and stirring the soup a little.
Dad was cleaning up the counter and the stove. “You are.”
I stopped stirring. “What? No way! Screw it! I ain’t eating that.”
Dalton glanced at the plate. “I’ll have it,” he shrugged.
“Ew, no. Don’t. My dad’s probably had that drumstick for ages in the fridge, seriously,” I muttered to him.
He shrugged. “I have old food sometimes.”
“You’re gross. Let Kenneth eat that!” Said Jessie, who was sitting in front of me, next to Kenneth.
“Yeah, I’ll have it!” He said.
“No, Nikki’s having that since she’s not behaving well.” Said dad, scrubbing the stove. “Nikki, either eat that, or you’re never having another sleepover.”
“I hate meat!” I snapped. “I’ll throw it up! Seriously, it’s that gross for me! Especially if I know it’s from your house.”
Dad turned around with an exasperated look on his face. “Nikki, I’m serious. You shouldn’t have pushed Kenneth down the stairs like that. You’re lucky I’m not expressing my anger since we have guests. So now-”
“He was trying to push me down the stairs, dammit!” I said.
“Yeah, and he was banging the door and running away like an asshole,” muttered Dalton.
“I don’t care! You succeeded in pushing him down the stairs, and that’s that.”

“Yeah! Now I have a bruise on my head!” Kenneth glared at me, throwing me a piece of his vegetables.
I glared at him, ready to throw a piece of chicken at him, but my dad interrupted. “Nikki! Just stop it, and eat what’s on that plate! You’re lucky that’s all I’m doing instead of yelling and punishing you.” He turned back to continue washing.
“Yeah? Well, I guess I’d rather have you yell at me,” I said quietly. “I hate meat.” Dalton and Analiese snickered.
“Just eat it, Nikki,” sighed dad.”
“No,” I talked back.
“Yes,” my dad said sternly.
“Bite me,” I replied.
Dad turned to me, with a surprised, angry expression. “What did you just say to me?!”
Dalton, Jessie, and Analiese turned to me, Jessie holding back a laugh.
“I said bite me,” I answered simply.
Dad took the can of chicken noodle soup and threw it across the kitchen, over my head, hitting the wall on the other side. I looked at him in surprise, holding back a laugh.
“Go upstairs now!” He yelled forcefully.
I raised my hands up. “What-”
“Upstairs! And take your dinner up with you! You’re not getting away with your attitude like that!” He raised his arm towards the stairs, glaring at me.
I had my eyebrows raised as I took my bowl of chicken noodle soup and went up the stairs. I felt Dalton, Jessie, Analiese, and Kenneth staring at me as I walked away.
“Darn kid! Ungrateful for everything I do. Doesn’t deserve what she wants,” my dad was muttering to himself loudly for me to hear. I winced as I came up the stairs. I only fought back with Kenneth because he started it, but my dad did nothing to him. Instead, I was getting in trouble. I slammed the door angrily in my room.
A while later, there was a loud knock at my door, and laughing murmured. I got up and opened the door for Jessie, Dalton, and Analiese.
They looked at me with smirks and I looked back with a glare.
Dalton looked at me and started laughing. “Are you mad?”
“Yes, I’m mad, I’m freakin’ pissed off,” I muttered angrily. “Do you see how stupid my dad is around me?”
“I’ve seen him stupid around you a little, but not that stupid!” he replied, grinning.
Jessie giggled. “Your dad can’t control his temper no matter what you do! I love seeing you piss your dad off like that!”
Analiese raised her eyebrows. “You know, I’d really hate to live with you, Nikki. I’m already scared to sleepover.”
I squinted my eyes at her with a smile, tilting my head. “Yeah, I really wouldn’t get used to living with someone like you.”
“Who wouldn’t?” Jessie muttered, looking away.
“Jessie, I wouldn’t stand living with you either!” I laughed.
“I know. But still.” She shrugged.
We came and shut the door in my room.
“Hey, I got a text message from my mom, saying she’s staying over with her boyfriend tonight, so I can spend the night at my stupid grandparents’ house. So I guess I might be able to sleepover.” Said Dalton, sitting on the swivel in front of my computer I had turned on when I was sent up here.
I looked at him hopefully. “Really? You want to sleepover? It’s really stupid here. The house is cool, but my dad and stupid Kenneth will bug the-”
“Yeah, I wanna sleepover,” replied Dalton quickly. “The boyfriend my mom’s staying over with is an asshole. He hates me, I hate him, and I really don’t want to go to my grandparents’ house.”
“What?!” Jessie was grinning. She rolled her eyes. “Darn it! I didn’t want you sleeping over. And didn’t Nikki’s dad just say you can’t sleepover?”
“Well, screw Nikki’s dad! I’m not gonna be around my mom’s boyfriend!” He turned to us with his annoyed expression again.
I couldn’t resist. I really did want him to sleepover. “Yeah, screw dad! I’ll tell him kick Analiese out and Dalton can sleepover!” I nudged her playfully, smirking.
She glared at me. “Shut up, Nikki. Gosh. I’ll leave if I want to, not to make room for Dalton.” She gave a wry smile to him, and he was glaring back.
“Whatever, he can sleep with us,” Jessie was smiling. “It’s okay, you can sleepover with all of us, it’s okay, it’s okay,” she said with clenched teeth and a comforting tone as she was patting his head roughly, messing up his long hair.
Me and Analiese were giving each other weird looks, laughing. Dalton winced and swatted her arms away.
“What the hell, Jessie, get away from me!” He snapped. I could see him start to blush and smile a little. I really wanted to do that to him.
I gave Jessie a swat on the arm. “You’re stupid, Jessie,” I grimaced as she fell on my bed, laughing in her giggly laugh.
Dalton frowned at her and turned back to the computer. “I hate my mom’s boyfriend. He hits me with gun all the time.”
Analiese gave a small, quick laugh. “Why?”
“’Cause he hates me,” he replied.
“I bet if my dad had a gun, he’d hit me with it,” I laughed, sitting next to the chair next to him as he went on Myspace. “Nah, just kidding. He has a gun, and he’s afraid to use it.”
We spent the next few hours on the computer, talking and laughing as we chatted on Myspace with people from our class.
“Hey, wait a minute,” I said when it was about 10:00 at night. “Dalton, you didn’t bring anything for a sleepover.”
“What, I don’t brush my teeth or take a shower everyday anyway,” he shrugged.
Jessie and Analiese flinched. “Ew! Sick!” Jessie said indignantly, wincing.
I would’ve flinched, but I didn’t since I was more upset than surprised. He wasn’t going to take a shower or do anything in the bathroom! Darn! What’s the point now? Except that he’ll be sleeping with us….
Dalton just started grinning as Analiese rolled her eyes.
“He can have Nikki’s clothes!” Jessie laughed.
“Nikki’s a freakin’ zero, I wouldn’t want her clothes.” Said Dalton rudely.
“You’re a zero also! I think anyway,” said Analiese. “You just always buy pants that are too big for you so they can slip off and see your underwear!”
“Yeah!” He replied indignantly, smirking. “That’s the reason!”
“You can wear my skinny jeans and look like Nick!” I laughed.
Just then Kenneth came in my room, banging the door open, with another Popsicle in his hand. He threw the chicken leg at me. I ducked and it hit Dalton.
He yelled a cuss word. “What the hell! Damn you Kenneth!” He turned to Kenneth with his eyes wide with annoyance.
“That’s for Nikki! Dad says it’s time for her boyfriend to go home!” Kenneth said sassily.
I got up from my chair. “Get out,” I shoved him out of the room and slammed the door shut. I leaned against it as he banged hard.
“Open up!” He yelled.
“Go to hell, Kenneth!” Dalton yelled.
Then the banging stopped. I opened the door and saw that Kenneth was walking away with one of my folders from school. I instantly ran after him. “Damn you, Kenneth, give me that!” I snatched the folder away from him and reached out a hand to swat his head, but he dodged and ran back to my room, shutting the door.
I heard Jessie’s voice mumbling to Kenneth as he leaned against the door to keep me out.
I kicked the door as hard as I can, hurting my foot and almost making a crack.
“You’re such a bastard, Kenneth,” I heard Dalton say. I twisted the knob and shoved the door open as hard as I can, knocking Kenneth down by surprise. I looked down at him in fury. Jessie, Dalton, and Analiese were up, standing in front of him as he if they were trying to pull him away. Kenneth shot up and faced me, holding onto his arm.
“Outta my room!” I screamed in his face.
He shook his head. “No,” he said simply and purposely dropped his Popsicle on the carpet. I clenched my teeth and grabbed him by the back of his shirt, pulling him over as he struggled, and let go, slamming his head hard against the wall.
“Owwww!” He cried in pain. I gave him a kick in the legs.
“Oooh,” snickered Dalton. I felt a little embarrassed to be acting like this in front of Dalton, but I bet he would’ve expected it.
“Nikki!” Dad called angrily, coming up the stairs.
“She hurt me,” Kenneth said meekly, walking slowly out the door, putting his hands on his head, starting to cry.
As he left, I turned to Jessie, Dalton, and Analiese with a naughty expression, raising my eyebrows, and they were staring at me with surprised looks, with a hint of a smile.
“Nice, Nikki,” said Jessie.
“I really want to do that to my brother,” said Dalton shaking his head. “You have no idea.”
I laughed. “You have no idea! You should see-”
I whipped around as I heard dad’s angry footsteps stomping rapidly over. He entered my room with wild, angry eyes and lips puckered. He grabbed me by the arm. I kicked and struggled to get away.
“Don’t touch me!” I screamed angrily, kicking back at his legs. He gave me a hard kick back on the butt, but I was too angry to scream about it.
“Get in my room!” He raised his voice on the top of his lungs. He started pulling me out of the room. “All of your friends are going home! No one’s sleeping over here tonight. You just blew it!”
I let out a scream as I stomped with him as he pulled me. “Kenneth started it! He wouldn’t leave me alone and he threw food-”
“I don’t care! You just blew it! Both of you! There’s no sleepover tonight!”
I screamed in anger. No Dalton! No sleepover! Screw this place and my stupid dad! He pushed me in his room. Before he closed the door, I caught a glimpse, through my watery, furious eyes, of Jessie, Dalton and Analiese approaching over to us. My dad shut the door on them, not noticing. Kenneth was standing there, in front of the bed, glaring at me, squinting his eyes. His face was still red and watery from crying. I didn’t care if I made him cry. He started it with me, then complains about the consequences.
“And you know what?” My dad shouted. “Even Jack’s not staying in our room to sleep with us. You just blew everything!” He turned to where Jack was sitting at the bed’s side, wagging his tail. “C’mon, Jack. Goin’ outside.” The big dog followed him out the room, I saw that Jessie, Dalton, and Analiese were by the door, listening. I didn’t care. I glared at my dad as he walked out and closed the door behind him.
“I’m calling your guys’ parents to take you home,” I heard him say.
From under the door, I saw shadows from the three of them, clearly trying to overhear. I heard mumblings.
“Nikki could get worse than this, trust me. I know her,” said Analiese. “Not as long as some people, but well enough.”
“I don’t have any parents to take me home,” said Dalton, shrugging.
Kenneth came up to me and said something rude, but from their point of view, it came out as a mumble.
“Shut UUUUUUUUUUPPP!!!!!” I yowled at the top of my lungs, which didn’t come out as a mutter to them. “THIS WOULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED IF YOU HAD JUST LEFT MY ROOM LIKE I TOLD YOU TO!!!”
“I only came to tell you dad said-” Kenneth started to yell back.
I interrupted. “NO YOU WEREN’T! You threw a chicken leg and dropped your Popsicle! You should’ve gone when I TOLD YOU TOO!”
“Guys, shut up!” Snapped dad, coming into the room. “It’s both of your faults! Kenneth, you should’ve left them alone, and Nikki, you know better than to react like that! Now I just called all your friends’ parents, and they’re coming to leave pretty soon. Now get ready for bed! Kenneth already took his shower. Hurry up, Nikki!”
I stomped out of the room. “What’s the hurry? What freakin’ stupid…..” I muttered the rest in cuss words as I noisily shot the door open and slammed it behind me, stomping over to my room. Jessie, Dalton, and Analiese were talking by the front door, and looked up at me as they heard me stomping, but I was too angry to look back and say anything. I winced at how Dalton’s parents were going to take him, but I didn’t bother to ask. I snatched up a large gray shirt on the floor of my cruddy closet. It belonged to my dad, but I wore it to sleep with some short-shorts sometimes. I didn’t bother looking for those shorts right now; my closet was even messier, for we had just thrown all my clothes in the closet while cleaning up the room. And if there wasn’t going to be any darn sleepover, who cares?
In the shower, I calmed down a little. I had the heat turned up, and the bathroom was steaming. I stepped in, a stood there, doing nothing, but think deeply about……Dalton. Again, he was stuck in my head. What was it about him that made me so crazy and addicted about him? He was incredibly cute, to me at least. I remember when Danielle had first wanted to ask him out, she had told me and Jenny the same thing, and had acted so lovey-dovey and ditsy about him. Jenny had said he was an ugly scarecrow with braces, and Jessie said pretty much the same thing. There was nothing attractive about him besides just his face and eyes, and expression; he had no muscle, no traces of abs, and he was thin, despite the junk food he eats at lunch. Jeremy ate lots of junk food, and he wasn’t even close to being just a little chubby. Jeremy was pretty thin also, but Dalton was thinner. Gabriel had awesome abs and I loved it when he carried me around, and I usually don’t like it when people carry me, even my ex-boyfriend.
I imagined what it would be like if Dalton were my boyfriend. I knew it would be impossible- right now at least, for he was with Danielle and I was with Gabriel, but I still thought about what it would be like if we were. Would he treat me any different? He treated Danielle nicely, though he was still obnoxious and a punk around her, but she was different from me. She was outgoing and preppy, trying to act all that but still with a nice friendly personality, and I was outgoing as well, though in a more naughty, bad way, and I wasn’t preppy, even though people say that I dress cool. I was more of a “whatever” person, and I didn’t act like I’m trying to be all that, I was just my rotten, expressive self. And would Dalton stand me? I knew I was short-tempered and mean, and he had seen that after this stupid fight with Kenneth, as well as traces at school, but I still wasn’t too selfish or a crybaby, or anything. How I longed to see him right now, in the shower even.
I closed my eyes and streamed my hand down my long, jet-black hair. I had pretty long hair, actually. It went right to my hips when it wasn’t in crazy, messy thick ponytails, sticking out like some crazed rock star. I had to admit Danielle was prettier than me-no, just nicer-looking. She had straight, shiny brown hair and more appropriate, pretty clothes. I had very dark black hair that was a little tangled, though everyone said it made me look cool that way, and I dressed close to almost looking slutty sometimes, just because I’m too lazy to find nice clothes, or just because I felt like it. I guess Dalton wouldn’t mind that, he’s a lot like that himself. Since Danielle wasn’t like that, he treated her pretty nicely, and got obnoxious and crazy whenever she did, but I would guess he would be more like himself around me.
I would let Dalton be himself and do whatever the hell he wants, I thought, opening my eyes. He could be rude and carefree all he wants, and I wouldn’t mind, ‘cause I would be doing the same, and we’ll both enjoy ourselves and each other.
There was a bang at the door that made me whip my head to my left and wince.
“Nikki! Hurry up in there! It’s getting late!” Came my dad’s impatient voice.
“Shut up! I’ll take as long as I want, you retard!” I yelled angrily.
There was an even louder bang. “Don’t talk to me like that or I’m getting the key and opening the door!”
I muttered loud enough for my dad to hear, and hurried up in the shower.
When I got out, I smelled of vanilla perfume, my favorite scent to wear before going to bed, and I had no shorts on as I wore my dad’s big long shirt. I stomped over to my room. My dad was ready to close his door.
“Nikki, put some pants on,” he said indignantly.
“No! There’s no one sleeping over so who cares?” I slammed my door and kicked the swivel chair out of the way, making it fall over in front of my closet. I angrily threw myself backwards on the bed.
“OW!” Came an irritated voice.
I shot up. “Dalton?” I threw off the big pillows that were blocking the other side of the bed and found Dalton laying on his left side. He quickly shot up and got off the bed.
He looked me with wide eyes. “You sat on my spine!” He said indignantly.
“I- sorry! I didn’t know you were here,” I winced. “Why are you still here?”
“Oh, I told your dad my parents won’t be home and that I was wanting to leave anyway, and he believed me,” he raised his eyebrows in interest.
I rolled my eyes, smiling. “Stupid dad will fall for anything when he loses his temper.”
“Yeah,” laughed Dalton. He looked down. “Nice legs.”
I realized I had nothing on but a shirt covering my underwear, and my entire long legs were pretty much all bare. “Oh, yeah. Didn’t know I wouldn’t be alone tonight.” I said in a casual “whatever” tone to hide my embarrassment. “Gimme a minute,” I said roughly. I snatched a pair of random navy blue shorts and stomped to the bathroom. I could feel Dalton’s stare as I made my way and shut the door.
I blushed in embarrassment, yet I felt a little giddy. I wish I had turned around to see the look on his face as he stared at me. He was smirking before I had noticed I wasn’t wearing anything on my legs, and I felt lightheaded and found myself smiling, sighing.
After I put my shorts on, I looked at myself in the mirror and brushed my hair a little more. It was still messy, but it was always pretty tangled, I didn’t spend too much time brushing it. I saw that my eyeliner smeared lightly around my eyes, for I hadn’t bothered to completely wash it off. I looked like a scary vampire, the eyes anyway, all lightly black-smeared. Instead of washing it off completely, I decided to just wash off the smears and let the light parts stick around my eyes. I didn’t want Dalton to see me completely without makeup- yet. I looked at myself. My eyes looked a little creepy with eyeliner lightly put on. It made my eyes looked like they haven’t gotten enough sleep. I shrugged. It looked like me, at least.
I got out of the bathroom and saw that Dalton was looking into my closet. He looked at me as he noticed I was out.
“Find anything you want?” I asked.
He uttered something. “No. I just don’t wanna sleep outside again. I’ve done it before.” He smiled then it quickly faded. “And it sucked!”
“You can sleep here, my dad’s a heavy sleeper. And you can sneak in the car to school,” I shrugged, sitting down on the bed.
“Yeah, I’m just going to take a shower. I haven’t taken one in five days.”
I looked up hopefully. “Huh? Oh, sure, whatever. Go ahead.”
“I’m gonna be wearing the same thing, so…yeah,” he gave me a sly smile with a hint of naughtiness that never seemed to leave his face. I tried not to get all transfixed in his addicting expression.
I nodded, looking down so I wouldn’t start showing how much I loved his facial expression. “Go ahead. I’ll be asleep.” I sat down on the bed. “Feel free to put the pillows back in the middle of the bed so I don’t accidently kick you. I kick when I’m asleep.”
“Yeah, so do I,” he said, smiling like he was a little scared.
I fell back in the bed so he wouldn’t see my smile. “Yeah, that too,” I said in a bored voice, though I was holding back a laugh.
“I take long showers, like you….whatever,” he said. He opened the door and turned on the fan. I heard him click the lock after he shut the door.
As soon as he got out wearing his old clothes again, I couldn’t help staring at him. his hair was wet and ruffled, as if he had just brushed them with his fingers.
I snickered. “You look like you just got out of the sewer pipe.”
He gave me a naughty smile. “You look like you’re a drunk, emo rock star ready to die the next minute…every day.”
I grimaced and threw a pillow at his face, and he caught it before it hit him, but then I threw my CD at his head, not missing this time.
“Ow! Dammit! What the hell!” He yelled.
I started laughing and ran off my bed as he took my radio and threw it at me, hitting the headboard as I escaped.
I winced and frowned. “Hey! You’re gonna break my radio, dumbass!” I came up to him and gave him a rough push, but he snickered and took my iPod on the floor, and jumped on my bed, dropping it behind the headboard, smiling at me naughtily.
I had my mouth open, and I was looking at him with a cold, wide-eyed angry stare, then puckered my lips. “You are so dead.” I leaped over the end of my bed and chased him, grabbing the bottom of his pants before he jumped off, making him stumble and fall to the floor from the bed.
He yelled and called me a name for fun. He grabbed my arm, pulling himself up, but making me scream and fall.
“You-!” I yelled, naughtily smiling at him.
“Shut up!” He hissed, smiling with his eyebrows raised. “Your stupid dad will hear us!”
“Oh yeah?” I got up and smirked. “Let him hear us and kick you out.” He was standing on my bed, and I instantly pushed him off without him seeing it coming.
“Ow, you freakin’!” He cussed at me for fun and shot up and pushed me off, throwing a pillow on top of me, then jumped on top of the pillow.
“Ugh! What the hell, get off of me!” I thrashed and heard him laugh as he pushed the pillow on top of my face. I cussed at him for fun, and waved my arms around, and grabbed his hair, tangling my fingernails and yanking hard, making him yell and loosening his grip on pushing the pillow down, and then shot up. He fell off of me instantly and bumped his head against the bed.
He cussed and smirked at me. “Sexual predator!” He laughed.
I ignored him and glared mischievously at him. “Freak!” I screamed. But deep down, it was more than just having fun. I felt giddy and in love.
I took my computer and aimed it at him, then looked behind me and put it back down. “I think I heard something! Get on the bed!” I shoved his head to the side before jumping on the bed.
He crawled to the floor on the other side of the bed. “No kidding, you were actually gonna throw your computer at me?” He gave me a sly look.
“Sure, my dad needs a computer, and he’ll just buy another one.” I threw a pillow down at him. He took a small plastic ball under my bed and threw it back. I thrashed and was about to throw another pillow, then looked down at him. “You’re not sleeping on the bed?”
He grimaced. “No! You’ve got your germs on there! I see your eyeliner right here on this pillow! Why? You want me to be on the bed?”
I winced. “Ew! No! It’s just that…the floor is really gross, my dad doesn’t vacuum here, but whatever, the floor fits you.” I laid back down.
We talked for a little, laughing and teasing each other. Dalton was actually quite the talker, though quite the rude one also. He wasn’t snotty or selfish when he spoke, but he did laugh and make fun of things and talked nasty about them also, though it didn’t bother me much, since I probably sounded like I do the same as well. Eventually we fell asleep, or at least Dalton did. I still lay awake. I turned to turn off my lights. And lay there. My blinds were still open so that the moon shone on my bed through the windows. I turned to Dalton. He was sleeping, but I couldn’t hear him breathing as loudly. I guess I was so used to hearing Kenneth’s loud breathing and my brother and dad’s snoring that I forgot how it was like to have someone sleep quietly. I knew I shouldn’t face him, I didn’t want to wake up finding myself in an uncomfortable position, or anything, but I couldn’t help staring at him. He was turned away, but still, I couldn’t resist. I was actually sleeping with Dalton already! Of course, this wasn’t planned or anything, so it wasn’t anything that special, but I was still sleeping next to him! And surprisingly, he was the one who had asked since he didn’t want to go home. Wow, I thought to myself. Did he really feel that comfortable around me? I felt so….actually I didn’t know how I felt. Weird, uncomfortable, satisfied, giddy, I didn’t know exactly how I felt. I just stared at him, expressionless.
Suddenly, he shifted, and I moved back a little, ready to turn around, but he only turned to the other side, to face me. I couldn’t help turning back to face him. I had my mouth open a little, in happiness. He looked beautiful, sleeping in the moonlight like that. I sighed, then winced. What’s wrong with me? Stop focusing so much on him! You have a boyfriend for crying out loud! Think of how beautiful he could look asleep in the moonlight. Ah, yes. Gabriel would look hot in the moonlight as well. Gabriel. But I was still facing Dalton I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I could lay awake there all night and watch him.

I awoke to my alarm, surprised through my drowsiness that I had actually fallen asleep. I was actually facing the other way, away from Dalton, and felt something wrapping around me. It must’ve gotten cold last night and I could’ve wrapped the blanket extra tight with knowing it, for I was in a V-shaped position, stretched out in a V-shaped, my back arching far back. I turned to see how close I was to Dalton in this position, but as I turned, what I saw shocked the heck outta me. Dalton had his arms and legs wrapped around me, and his face was pressed to the back of my head.
I screamed in surprise and shot up, my bare legs kicking in the air, making him yell and let go in surprise. He looked up to see me sitting up in the bed, looking at him in shock. “You were holding me in your sleep!” I shouted.
“I- No! I was-” He quickly sat up and met my gaze with the same surprise in his wild eyes. “I had a dream I was hurting Jeremy. I swear!”
I knew he could be lying. But I shook my head. “Whatever, it’s okay. I could’ve done the same thing.”
Dalton actually started laughing a little. “I’m sooo sorry, Nikki. Seriously. I dream about embarrassing Jeremy all the time.”
“Jeremy’s high and scary,” I said simply, looking away from him, smiling.
There was a knock at my door and I flinched. “Nikki, hurry up and get ready. And tell Dalton that we can take him to school with us.”
I looked at Dalton and winced. How did he know he was here? Did he check on me, or something, overnight?
I got ready in the bathroom, changed into some black clothes with traces of white again, brushed my hair a little, and put them up in two crazy ponytails again. I took some eyeliner and carefully put it on, then I sprayed myself with berry-scented perfume.
When I joined everyone else in the kitchen, Kenneth was at the table, squinting his eyes at me. “You and Dalton were sleeping together.”
“Shut up, you sleep next to E.J. when you guys spend the night,” I snapped.
“You know how I knew Dalton was here?” Dad raised his eyebrows at me. “I just know, that’s all.” He turned to Dalton. “You could’ve just told me what your problem was.”
Dalton shrugged. “I didn’t want to go home to my parents’, or see my grandparents, what could’ve you done about that?”
Dad sighed, closing his eyes. “Just make sure you don’t do that again or I’ll call your parents about it.”
When dad dropped us off to school, Dalton and I walked together to campus, and I saw Kenneth rudely staring at us as my dad drove away. I made a face at him and whipped my head away. Dalton and I talked and laughed, and he even gave me his Facebook account, and I gave him mine.
We met up with Jessie, Ashton, James, Gabriel, Jenny and Nate, William, and Anthony. I felt my blood turn hot as I saw that Danielle was here, laughing with everybody, mostly the boys. Jenny was actually a pretty good friend of Danielle actually. Dalton immediately walked over to join them and I caught up.
Dalton started naughtily laughing and he, Nate, William, and Anthony were pushing each other, messing around like always.
“Eew!” Jessie gave a disgusted look. “Dalton, are you wearing the same clothes as yesterday?”
Dalton turned to her with an annoyed expression. “Yeah, like you’re paying attention to what the heck I’m wearing?”
“Yeah, that’s my job,” smiled Danielle. She slapped her thigh and started laughing. I gave a quick glare to her that nobody noticed.
“Nah,” Dalton smiled at Danielle. “I actually took a shower at my house, and I haven’t taken one several days.”
I winced. But I didn’t say anything. I understood that he didn’t want anyone to know he had been sleeping at my house, for it was obvious the boys would start teasing him, as well as everybody else. I, myself, also didn’t want anyone like Jessie to know, for she would most likely start a rumor.

In science, Ms. Fletcher announced that we were going to do notes, in which we were going to write down whatever she wrote down on the overhead. “I know notes are very boring, I know, I really don’t wanna do them also, but they’re very helpful for studying for the test, so let’s just get it over with and move on with our lives,” she sounded pleasant, and today, her long, blonde hair looked wavy; the other day, it was straight.
When we started writing down the notes Ms. Fletcher wrote down for us, she chatted and chatted, teaching us and explaining everything she wrote down. It was entertaining to have her explain to us as we took down the notes, for she acted goofy and hyped up, making some of us laugh a little. I was enjoying her, until she snapped at me again.
“Nikki, Dalton? What’s the order of making the science observation?” She was smiling at us with raised eyebrows.
Dalton and I turned to her with confused looks.
“Uh-” Dalton began, but said nothing else.
“Right, so next time we do notes, you pay attention rather than giggle with each other,” she turned back to the class and continued explaining. I heard Dalton mutter cusses.
“What’s that?” Ms. Fletcher asked nicely to Dalton.
Dalton winced. “What?”
“Did you say something you would like to share?” The whole class turned to Dalton, Nate with a grin on his face.
“No,” replied Dalton, his face expressionless.
“Oh, okay. So I’ll see you after class and you can share it then?”
She turned back to writing the notes and explaining them to the class, clearly not wanting an answer.
When science was over, the class crowded to exit, and Nate, William, Anthony, and Dalton were laughing and pushing and shoving each other, and Dalton fell back against me.
I gave him a hard push, grimacing, and then I got into the shoving, and knocked over a can of correction pens, scattering them all over the floor.
“Whoooaaa, okay, we don’t shove. Nikki, pick those pens up. And Dalton, come over here and see me,” Ms. Fletcher called across the room.
I gave her an agitated glance and started picking up the pens.
When I left the class, Jessie walked by my side. “I like Ms. Fletcher,” she said in an upcoming tone. “She’s awesome and she’s all hyper, it’s funny.”
I frowned. “Eh, she’s not really nice to me. When I asked her a question, she acted all sarcastic as if I was stupid and should know the answer.”
Jessie laughed. “She doesn’t like you or Dalton. But she kinda likes me, I think.”
When we entered art, Dalton took his seat in front of me. He looked at Jenny.
“Whoa! You wear glasses?” He said.
“I got them over break,” replied Jenny. “I feel like I’m a nerd.”
I squinted my eyes at her. “Nah, those glasses actually are the ones that make people look cooler.” They were hot pink and long, not round. They made her look cool and preppy.

By lunchtime, I was already used to most of the classes now. So far, Mr. Valentino was probably my most favorite teacher, I think. It could’ve been Mrs. Fletcher, but she treated me like I was in kindergarten.
We sat at the same table in lunch again, and chatted noisily again. I couldn’t help sitting next to Dalton, but I didn’t look at him so it looked like I didn’t mean to sit next to him.
Suddenly, Jessie turned to look over my shoulder, with eyes wide in surprise. “OMG, Nikki, look who it is,” she muttered quietly.
“What?” I turned to my right and then I nearly fell off the benches. Through all the scattered kids hanging around the lunch area in front of the entrance, I could see the shape of a familiar boy dressed in gangster clothes, with crazy tall, spiky, dirty blonde hair. As he came into sight, I immediately shot up and took my tray to the trash can, and turned to go hide somewhere- anywhere- until I suddenly felt a spank.
“Eyyy, Nikki! Wa’sup, sexy?” I turned to face the guy with a glare. It was my ex-boyfriend, Joshua, who I had broken up with in the middle of eighth grade when I found that he had been cheating on tons of different girlfriends besides me. He looked no different than when I had last seen him. He wore a tan leather jacket that was open, showing part of a rude phrase written on his shirt, and heavy pants that some gangsters wore. His dirty blonde hair was spiked up in a very tall Mohawk, and he had a deep, loud voice.
“Hey, Joshua,” I said rudely. “Long time, no see. So how is it with your girlfriends?”
“Hey, did you get a new cell phone or somethin’? I’ve been tryin’ to text you over the break, girl. You just not answerin’?” He stepped to my side and put his arm around my shoulders. “You mad at me, sweetie?” He cooed in a sarcastic tone.
I elbowed him in the stomach.
“Ow!” He yelled. I threw his arm off me.
“I’m not mad anymore,” I said sassily, walking around the table to where Gabriel sat next to Sam. “I’ve got Gabriel to cheer me up now.”
Gabriel turned to Joshua. “Yeah, Joshua. Screw off.”
Joshua was glaring at Gabriel with hatred. He opened his mouth to say something, but Jessie interrupted him.
“Dude! Where in the heck have you been?” Jessie had walked up to him with a naughty smile on her face. “You haven’t bothered us at all over break. I’m so proud of you!” She sounded sarcastic, though she patted him hard on the back.
Joshua swatted her arm away from him. “Git away from me, Jessie.” He said rudely.
Jessie hit him back on the shoulder as he walked over to me. “Don’t touch me, you freak.”
Joshua came over and gave Gabriel a nudge. Gabriel just kept the satisfied look on his face.
“Dude,” Joshua hissed. “You messin’ with my girl?”
“No,” Gabriel replied simply, shrugging.
“Hey, I thought you said you didn’t want her back!” Said Nick.
“Yeah,” Dalton added, looking at Joshua with wide, naughty eyes. “And you called her a b****. And a slut.”
“Well, that’s because she is one!” Joshua smiled his ugly smile at me. “That’s why I like you.” He said sassily, his hand touching my cheek.
I roughly slapped his hand away. “Go have fun with your other girlfriends, I really don’t mind!” I laughed as he slapped my shoulder even harder, lips puckered with anger. I was still naughtily smiling as I puckered my lips and bumped his forehead harshly with the palm of my hand, but he grabbed my arm and started twisting it.
“Stop!” I laughed and yanked my arm away from him.
“Dude, Joshua! You shouldn’t hit a girl,” yelled Jeremy in a sassy tone.
My expression turned to anger as I took both my hands and gave him a hard push that nearly made him fall over. He pushed me back, then grabbed me and tried kissing me. I yelled out an angry cuss word and tried pushing him away.
“Hey, Joshua! Stop having fun with Nikki!” Came Nick’s voice.
Gabriel came over to angrily pull Joshua away. “Dude! You idiot, get off and go find a pole!” He snickered a little.
I heard Dalton and Anthony snicker and a pizza was thrown passed Gabriel and landing on the back of Joshua’s head. Joshua let go and turned slowly to look at Anthony and Dalton, who had wide-eyed, laughable expressions.
Dalton gave Anthony a nudge. “Dude, run!” He laughed. But just when he turned and took a step, Joshua stomped rapidly up to Anthony, accessories all over his pants jingling, and he grabbed Anthony by his scrawny arm.
“You black, freakin’-” Joshua began savagely, and a whistle blew loudly.
“Joshua!” A Spanish accented voice angrily shouted.
Joshua let go of Anthony, and turned to wince with a hint of naughtiness in his eyes. “What?” He said indignantly.
“Come here,” the short Spanish lady gestured with her finger to her and Joshua sighed and rolled his eyes, smiling.
“Lady, I didn’t do anything-”
The short teacher walked away with him, speaking Spanish.
I got up, grimacing. Everyone was laughing at Joshua.
“Ha! Even the Spanish lady knows his name!” Jessie laughed out loud.
“Tuh. What a douche,” I smiled naughtily, brushing myself.
Danielle turned to me with a big grin on her face. “I know, right? You want me to throw something dangerous at his head sometime? Like a crowbar or whatever?”
I shrugged. “Sure. Feel free to do anything to him, no one will care if he’s gone, not even those jackasses who hang out with him, who he calls his friends.”
I was just about to remind her to not hurt herself, but I thought twice about that, and before I made up my mind, Gabriel came over to me.
“I’ll go and do something with him. Get him expelled,” he said. He still had some tomato sauce from the pizza that flew passed him.
“Cool. I can ask my brother Edward to do something. He loves me, ya know. Even though we treat each other like garbage and kill each other all the time.”
“I love seeing you and your brother fight,” said Danielle dramatically. “You guys seriously physically try hurting each other, yet you two laugh and act like nothing bad’s gonna happen!”
I gave her a sassy smile. “That’s why we’re siblings.”
We spent the rest of lunch talking out if control, and finally the bell rang. Gabriel and I walked together, talking, and I tried looking through the crowd of obnoxious, non-IB students, looking for Dalton. But those stupid freaks were running everywhere, and a few water bottles were thrown around. We IB kids were smart and organized, kids who actually wanted to learn, believe it or not, and those non-IBs were just regular, rude punks who didn’t give a care. We were obnoxious and crazy as well- what teenagers wouldn’t be at some point- but we weren’t that obnoxious to the point when we stupidly got ourselves into trouble and lied about everything. But there were still some IBs who were disrespectful like them; Dalton, for instance, lied, cussed, and was always in trouble, and maybe even Jessie could get out of control when she lost her temper. I guess I’ll admit I do also. But there were still some good non-IB students that were trustworthy. Some of Jeremy’s older brothers that went here were obnoxious, but they were still worth it.
I suddenly caught sight of Dalton, but my hopes rapidly faded as I saw him and Danielle holding hands together, and Dalton looked as if he were hugely expressing his feelings to her.
I glared savagely, that I could feel the dark eyeliner really tickling on my eyelashes, and slowly brought my hand over to Gabriel’s. As soon as my hand touched his, he quickly grabbed my hand and swayed it a little, and started talking about something I couldn’t help not listening to. I just couldn’t help not paying attention. I tried to hold my jealousy as Danielle threw back a loud laugh, slapping Dalton on the shoulder, who looked annoyed with a hint of happiness on his face.

A few weeks passed by since the first day of high school. We were getting to know the school around a lot by now, as well as the teachers. Ms. Fletcher was energetic and always wanted us to have fun. Mrs. Lockard was always treating us like we were her children rather than her students, always snapping at us for everything in a way that made us enjoy her; she especially snapped at people like me, Jessie, Dalton, and Jeremy, as well as a number of other people. The P.E. teachers weren’t really focused on as much, for they had the whole school to control throughout the day, besides just IB classes. Mr. Valentino, the math teacher, was a funny teacher, and he liked to talk. He pretty much spent half the period each day talking about his life, or anything he found entertaining. We haven’t really seen his bad side, yet, we haven’t seen any of the teachers’ bad sides as much yet. Mrs. Palmer, the history teacher was considered quiet and soft-speaking, though also famous for giving us tons of homework and projects, such as those eight magazines we have to work on for the U.S. history- we’re on the sixth one right now. And Mrs. Estelle- eh, she was an OK teacher. She tried to do fun things and be polite and all, but language arts has always been very boring to people, so to me, she was okay. Some people, like Jessie and Analiese, liked her least. I guess she was my least favorite as well, right after Ms. Palmer.
Ms. Fletcher was everyone’s favorite teacher, except for me and Dalton. Throughout the weeks, Dalton and I got many detentions from her, Dalton for many different things, and me for pretty much the same things- chewing gum, texting a tiny bit. But Ms. Fletcher and Mr. Valentino were everyone’s favorite teachers, for both were talkative and funny, though to me, Mr. Valentino was more nice and polite, whereas, Ms. Fletcher was more sharp-eyed and strict- to me, at least.
One day, I was exiting her class at 4:25pm.
“And Nikki?” She called.

I turned with a tired look in my eyes, smiling sassily. “Yes?”
“So next time I let you choose your partners for a science lab, you don’t go on talking to Jessie about off topic things, or disturb the guinea pig, okay?”
“Yep,” I replied.
“Okay, now I want to make sure you mean that,” she was talking in a more quiet, serious tone now, with raised, serious eyebrows, “’Cause every time I’m telling you to make sure of something, you don’t do it. And your science grades will be coming out very soon, and you want an A, right? Your behavior can really affect that. What’s distracting you? Are you getting along with Dalton as your science partner?”
“Oh, yes. I am,” I said clearly. I really didn’t want to be moved away from him just yet.
“Okay. ‘Cause his grades are dropping since he’s not doing his homework, and his behavior in class. Anyways, get outta here,” Ms. Fletcher swatted her hand in the air to gesture me away as she turned around.
I rolled my eyes and muttered as I walked over to the front of the school. I walked home with Jessie, James, Ashton, Nate, and Gabriel. Dalton, unfortunately, was still in detention with Ms. Fletcher for not doing his homework.
It was very close to winter, and I awoke to a gray, cloudy morning. I frowned and rubbed my eyes and roughly threw the blankets off me. I was at my mom’s house now, and dad was here too. Lynn, my other cousin and Kenneth’s sixteen-year old sister, and Edward were at the table. Kenneth was sitting on the couch, watching cartoons.
“I’m driving you all to school,” Lynn reminded us as I sat down with a bowl of cereal.
Edward gave her a tired look. “What…..why you? I’ve got my own car.”
“Mom wanted me to drive,” she shrugged. Lynn was always soft-speaking and easy to get along with, so Edward just turned to me.
“Hey, you know, there’s gonna be another student joining your class today,” he said naughtily. “It’s a guy.”
I frowned at him. “So? How do you know?”
“I check the school staff papers every morning and afternoon, dummy,” he said rudely, smiling. “I’ll even bring you and show it to you.”
“No thanks! I’ll see him when he comes to our class. He is in my class, right? Not the other freshmen class?”
“Course, you nut-brain.”
As we stepped outside over to Lynn’s car, I yanked Edward by his jacket roughly away from the front seat.
“I get the front seat, jerk,” I said. I got in and slammed the door as soon as he got up and banged his fist against the window. I laughed mockingly at him. He gave me a dirty look and hopped in the back next to Kenneth, who was thankfully sleeping.
“I hate you, Nikki,” he muttered.
“I love you too,” I replied sarcastically.
In science class, I looked around for any sign of the new student. Dalton wasn’t at my side. He was over with William, talking away. As soon as the bell rang to be in our seats, Dalton rushed over and sat in his chair with a sigh.
“Hey, what was our homework?” He looked over at my papers I had out.
“Finish the reading questions,” I replied. I looked up and saw Ms. Fletcher’s shadow to the right of the room, from where she was behind the huge homework board, and she was talking quietly to a tall figure that was in front of her. I narrowed my eyes at the shadow. The head of the person seemed to have something pointy sticking out from his head.
“Alrighty!” Ms. Fletcher announced. She appeared from behind the homework board with a tall guy slowly following her. “Everyone, this is Lewis. Lewis Rundle. He is joining IB, and I don’t see why he shouldn’t, his grades are absolutely amazing since kindergarten.”
“He looks like a cat,” Dalton muttered. I stared expressionless at Lewis. The shape of his head almost was like the shape of a cat. His hair was blondish-brownish, almost like Dalton’s, but a little darker, and had lavender sprayed around. The style of his hair was the strangest style I had ever seen. From the top right and left corners of his head, long points of his hair jutted out, as if he were wearing a dunce cap on both corners on the top of his head, and on the bottom right and left corners, it looked the same as well. He super tall, probably almost over six feet, and he was thin, wearing a long purple coat that reached his feet, and he had dark purple gloves on his hands with tons of bracelets all around both his wrists, as well as a black wrap attached around. He looked cool in a way, though especially strange at the same time.
“Now, Lewis, would you like to…take a seat at the table all the way in the back? The middle one in the back row?” Ms. Fletcher pointed at the empty table right next to mine and Dalton’s.
As Lewis started walking towards the table with a tired-looking “whatever” expression, Ms. Fletcher called, “Now, Lewis, your science partner is Danielle, so you can ask her any questions you have, okay?”
Lewis nodded and took his seat. Dalton was staring at him. Lewis turned and met his gaze. He had pale blue, narrowed eyes.
“Sup,” Dalton muttered.
“Sup,” Lewis replied, looking tired. He had nice, deep voice that was attractive, not ugly and deep like Joshua’s.
During lunch, I couldn’t find Dalton or his friends anywhere.
Danielle came over to sit next to me. “Hey, Danielle, where’s Dalton, Nate, and the rest of them?”
“Huh? Oh! They’re hanging out with that new kid, Lewis. Strange guy, though. I don’t really want to meet him yet. Joshua’s with them too.”
“The kid is really weird,” Jessie added. “He stares at people also.”
Lewis was approaching us with Dalton, Nate, William, and Anthony. I saw Joshua and Edward both walking with them also. Dalton was at his side, talking away, looking like he was enjoying himself, while the others seemed to be talking and laughing with each other as they followed right behind. Lewis had a sly smile on his face, even slyer than William’s because of his narrowed eyes, and he seemed to be enjoying Dalton as well.
“Hey, are any of you going to the IB Dance next week?” Lewis was smiling coolly at us.
“There’s a dance next week?” Jenny said.
“Yeah,” said Edward. “And there will be a Christmas dance right before the day we go off track. This is just for the IB students. Ms. Fletcher will be passing out the forum tomorrow.”
“I’d love to go,” Danielle got up and looked at Dalton. “But you don’t like dances.”
Dalton shrugged and rolled his eyes. “I can go if someone’s going with me.”
“Sweet!” Said Danielle.
I looked at Gabriel, and opened my mouth to say something, but suddenly, Joshua’s big head popped in front of him. “Why, sure, baby, I’ll take you to the dance,” he tried grabbing my hands, but I whacked them away.
“Shut up!” I took Gabriel’s hand. “I’ve got Gabriel.”
“Heey, who are you going to the dance with, Lewis?” Jessie said flirtingly. I winced at her and saw James turn and blink.
She strutted up to him, smiling. Lewis kept a straight face. “Actually, I’m not going to the dance, Jessie.”
“Haha!” Jeremy teased, pointing at Jessie.
“You’re not going to the dance?” Said Analiese. “Why not?”
“It’s not my style to be dancin’ with anyone,” Lewis turned away.

I was quite excited to go to the dance. But there was a feeling deep down inside of me that told me to be careful. Everyone I knew in IB was going, except for Lewis. That kid was strange. After school, he had followed Jessie and I home, talking about our teachers, but the tone of his voice sounded like he was trying to stalk or something.
As I was alone in my room, sitting down and brushing my long dark hair in front of my mirror, I imagined how would it be if I danced with Dalton rather than Gabriel- please excuse my cheating thoughts, I’m just thinking of it- and imaged how he would be holding my hips, looking into my eyes, me looking into his eyes. I was braiding my hair on both sides, and when I was almost finished braiding the one on the left side, I paused for a moment, thinking deeply about Dalton again, then sighed and quickly grabbed my eyeliner as soon as I realized I had no makeup on yet.
Half an hour later, I was almost ready, dressed in a dress that was medium-length, high enough so you can see my knees, and the color was black of course, and I was dressed in tight, long, black stockings, and in high heels. My braids were very long, they looked better when they were laid out in front of my shoulders with red ribbons tied around. Everything was ready- except that the bottom left braid was tangled and the ribbon barely fastened it. I stomped my foot and let out a groan of impatience as I came up to my mirror again.
“Nikki? You ready yet? The dance starts at 7:00pm, in fifteen minutes.” My mom gave a knock at the door.
I shut my eyes. “Almost ready mom!” I replied and tried untying the ribbon, but it was tangled with my hair. I frowned and gave it a pull, but it hurt, making me yell and take a step back, stepping my hairdryer on the floor, making me fall.
“Arghghgh!!!” I screamed angrily. I yanked both my braids, and screaming louder and louder in pain, kicking my stuff all around my room, throwing another tantrum until I spun around and saw that Ashton and Danielle were standing at my open door, expressionless.
“You ready, Nikki?” Ashton had a laughing tone to his voice, though he tried to keep a straight face.
“We were walking to the school dance and since we passed your house, we thought you should come along,” Danielle explained more politely. She was actually very pretty. She wore a shiny red dress with lipstick and some eyeliner, and her hair had curls at the bottom. Ashton looked very handsome in his black outfit and blue tie, his hair nicely combed.
“Just give me a minute,” I said hastily and slammed the door in their faces, embarrassed. I ran to my mirror, unbraided my hair, and brushed it all over again, then nicely, quickly braided it again, this time, looking much better for the dance. Just be even more prepared when it comes to prom, I reminded myself. I gave myself a sideways smile, looking wicked since I had a tiny bit of black lipstick. Not a lot of lipstick, just a light shade of black.
I appeared suddenly in front of them, and they turned to me, as if they had been chatting with each other while waiting.
“Okay, let’s go,” I said.
I walked out the door with Ashton, Danielle, Edward, and Lynn, over to join Jessie, James, Analiese, and Jeremy.
“Sheesh, you take up the whole night, Nikki,” Jessie complained.
“Yeah? I bet you took longer,” I replied simply, staring at the way she neatly put on her shiny red lipstick and usual purple eyeliner, except this time it was even darker, and her skin looked paler than normal.
Jessie shrugged. “Probably. Let’s just go. I wanna dance already.”
We chatted noisily as we walked down the streets to our school, and finally, we entered the multipurpose room. It was very dim with a dim yellow light flashing across the room, and there were many people crowded here and there, though most weren’t moving around much, some walking around a little. There was quiet murmuring through the students, as well as a low, quiet, creepy music playing in the background.
“Ugh, this music scares me,” Jessie muttered.
I looked around for Gabriel. “Yeah. I’ll be looking for Gabriel.”
James sighed. “I’ll be at the punch bowl.”
Jessie nodded and started following me.
Even though I had said I was looking for Gabriel, I was really looking forward to finding Dalton. Would he even come? He did seem like the type of person to skip something important if he felt like to.
“Hey, Nikki!” Jessie snapped me out of my thoughts. “Umm, Gabriel is over there?”
I looked over to my left by the bathrooms and saw Gabriel quietly chatting with Jeremy. “Oh. Oops, haha didn’t notice. This music is really distracting me.”
Jessie put her purple-tipped fingers over her eyes. “You know, me too. I’m gonna find someplace in the bathroom where I can shut my ears and hear myself think. This music is the most deafening quiet music I’ve ever heard!” She slowly strutted away from me, and I walked over to join Gabriel, looking around for Dalton. Were Nate, William, and Anthony even here?
Gabriel looked over and smiled at me. “Hey, Nikki,” he said tiredly. “I bet they’re tryin’ to drug us with this music. It sure is making me sleepy!”
I gave him a smile back. He looked incredibly handsome and so fine in his shiny top with a white tie. He smelled very nice as well. “Huh, I sure hope Joshua didn’t come.”
“Eh, I don’t see why he should,” Edward shrugged. “He would feel too embarrassed.”
Jeremy, who was loudly sipping cup after cup of punch, looked over. “Joshua doesn’t feel embarrassed, you know that! Whether you dance with him or not, he’ll still find a way to embarrass you.”
I gave him a wry look. “Enjoying all the punch?”
“Yeah, it’ll give me energy when the dance starts.”
“Too much energy,” Gabriel muttered.
“Hey, Gabriel. I haven’t seen any sign of Dalton.” Then I quickly added, “or Nate, William, or Anthony. Weird, huh? I wouldn’t have really expected them to skip the first IB dance.”
Gabriel shrugged. “They’re probably with Lewis.”
I suddenly turned to him. “Lewis?”
“Yeah, the strange kid. You know they’ve all been clowning around together after school, getting into trouble and all.”
“Oh,” I said quietly, looking away. I wonder what Dalton had done with this Lewis guy.
Gabriel gave a chuckle. “But you can’t imagine what kind of trouble someone like Dalton could be getting into with someone like Lewis! Lewis seems ten times smarter than Dalton.”
“Dalton’s just a punk,” Jeremy put in rudely. “He thinks he’s all that, but he’s just a scared, little kid at heart.”
I suddenly caught sight of Jessie talking with a strange man, a dark haired guy with his hair spiked in a short Mohawk. I couldn’t see his face, but Jessie seemed to be enjoying the conversation with him.
I was just about to mention it to Gabriel, until the lights brightened into colorful flashes, surprising the people inside.
“All right!” Came Principal Pietrok’s voice from across the room on the microphone. “Is every IB student here? ‘Cause we are going to dance until the room breaks down!” And suddenly, a more loving song with a nicer, louder beat to it blasted and Gabriel grabbed my hand.
“Ready to dance?” He sounded excited.
“Of course,” I replied, smiling. The both of us danced to the romantic song, which had a catching tone that made us smile and look into each other’s eyes. The crowd around us danced happily, but then, after another two songs, noticed James was standing in the corner with his arms folded, texting on his cell phone with a bored look on his face. I winced. Where was Jessie? Geez, what a dog that Jessie was sometimes.
As soon as the music stopped for a dance break, the eerie-toned, quiet music played again, along with the dim lights traveling around the room.
Gabriel and I were panting happily.
“Hey, Gabriel, hold on a moment. I’m gonna talk to James.”
“Sure thing, Nikki,” he panted, smiling at me.
I walked quickly over to James. “Uh, James? Where’s Jessie?”
James shrugged and frowned. “Tried calling her, but she didn’t answer her phone.”
I frowned in disappointment for Jessie, then widened my eyes. “Hey, wait a second! I just saw a spiky-haired guy talking with Jessie. He was flirting with her.”
James looked up. “Was he one of Joshua’s friends?”
I winced and shrugged. “I have no idea! He did have his pants halfway pulled down, though. I’ll check the bathrooms.”
I made my way to the girls’ bathroom in the back of the room, and then stopped. I caught sight of Jessie holding hands with the dude with the Mohawk.
They stopped behind a wall, just right next to the girls’ bathroom door.
“I love your gloves,” Jessie said naughtily. Her voice sounded crackly. “Where’d you get ‘em? I want some.”
“I stole ‘em from the market across my street,” replied the guy. “But, Jessie, I love what you did with your hair.” He streamed his hand down Jessie’s long purple hair.
Jessie giggled strangely and swatted his hand away. “Oh, stop it. I keep it like this all the time.” Jessie sounded really weird. Then it hit me as I saw a tiny bottle of wine in the back of the guy’s pants. Of course! Jessie was drunk! Oh, no, I had to do something, but what?
“Your hair is awesome also,” Jessie said wickedly, then looked at him in the eyes. “Ohhh, your eyes are so darn beautiful, I just wanna……” She was shaking her head, smirking, then she pushed the guy over to the wall, hitting with a grunt. Jessie suddenly unzipped her dress. “Hurry up, punk. I don’t even know your name but you’re cool enough for me.”
The guy got up, staring at Jessie with surprise, yet, naughtiness. “Why you female-” she grabbed him and kissed him before he could finished, and they fell into the girls’ bathroom.
I winced and rolled my eyes. I couldn’t blame Jessie, I probably would’ve done the same thing if I was drunk, but I swung the door open and saw the two of them making out on the floor. I angrily kicked the guy hard in the butt.
“OWWW!” He yelled and looked up at me. “Hey, I know you! You used to be Joshua’s super hot girlfriend, right?”
I smiled sassily. “Yeah, but I hardly even remember that now.” I came over to Jessie and yanked her hair, which always snapped her out of anything.
“Ow! Ugh, what happened? My head hurts…..” she looked around.
“Jessie, ask this rotten butthead what’s been going on.” I gave the guy a kick.
Jessie narrowed her eyes at him, and when she saw that her dress was unzipped, she quickly pulled it up and jumped to her feet. “I know exactly what the hell happened! You, made out with me!” She pointed down at the kid with clenched teeth. The kid looked scared. “You wanna have fun with me? I’ll show you how I have fun.”
Just then, Analiese popped in the bathroom. “Oh! Hey, you guys. You ready for the next dance?”
“Analiese, get outta here,” I said annoyed.
She noticed the guy on the floor. “Ew! What the heck is Greg doing here? get out of here, Greg.”
Greg slowly got up and brushed himself. He gave Analiese a glare, muttering as he walked passed her. Analiese glared back at him, following his gaze as he got to the door.
Jessie took her high heel and threw it at Greg’s head. “Argh! Darn you!” He cussed as he slammed the door behind him.
Analiese turned to Jessie, who was breathing hard and red with rage, and me, who looked shocked and angry. “What the heck happened?”
I shook my head without looking at her. “Nothing you need to know.”
“Oh, I am not going to forget that,” Jessie stomped to my side, shaking her head, her eyes wild with fury. “That kid’s gonna wake up in his grandma’s grave by the end of this dance.”
I didn’t want Jessie to get in trouble, she’s gotten into serious trouble before. “Nah, let’s just humiliate him in school next Monday.” I said encouragingly. “Just dance with James, talk to him about it, let him hopefully calm you down, and have a good time.”
“Nikki, I’m not gonna stop bothering you until you tell me what happened,” Analiese demanded as we exited the bathroom.
I sighed. “I’ll tell you later, okay?” I said irritatingly.
“You better,” she narrowed her eyes at me and strutted over to Jeremy. The lights suddenly flashed brightly and colorfully around the room, and a more catching, rapping song played and couples started dancing happily.
Jessie was standing there, looking ahead, lips puckered.
“Just explain it to James that Greg got you drunk and started making out with you,” I told her encouragingly. And I left her to find Gabriel through the crowd.
Then I remembered that this IB dance was no prom, and everyone was free to dance with everyone. So since Dalton was unfortunately not here, I searched for Ashton. I felt like dancing with him.
Suddenly, a loud, silly yell came from across the room, and I looked to my left of the punch table that Nate had fallen, bumping to the side of the table, making it shake and spilling some punch on his black jacket.
“Ohhh! Smart, Nate!” Anthony appeared at his head. Nate had fallen to the ground and was cracking up.
I tiptoed a little closer, curious to see if anyone else was there, and caught sight of William, Joshua, and a blonde babe with lipstick and a sexy bikini top come in from the door. I winced at the blonde. She put on a pink sweater when she came in, and as soon as William came over to join Nate and Anthony, the babe suddenly walked away, looking around, sharp-eyed.
What was this slut doing here? I was just about to say it out loud, until I saw that she had come over to the corner in the back of the room, where a dark figure stood. She and him both sat by the punch table next to them, but I still couldn’t see very well. I ran over to them, ignoring the accidental bumps I made with some of the dancing couples.
I finally saw that she was sitting down on a chair, legs crossed, sweater open, and her head tilted to one side with an innocent smile on her face, talking in a smooth voice… Dalton. I managed to watch a few feet away, behind a thick pole. I tried to hear through the loud music.
“She’s probably dancin’ with someone else by now, isn’t she?” The blonde girl said in a cheery voice. I assumed she meant Danielle.
Dalton wasn’t looking at her. He was looking around the flashing room, his eyes wide and expressionless. He shrugged. “I don’t really care. Everybody’s meant to dance with everybody here.”
The girl let out a sweet chuckle. “You wanna dance with her?”
“Not just yet. Maybe in a little while. I’m really tired right now.”
“Hahaha, that loss tire you out too much?” The girl sounded understanding now.
Dalton frowned. “I don’t care if I lose! I’m just mad I lost to a loser like Joshua!”
“Oh, well. Joshua’s always been good at gambling. And cheating.”
I figured that this must be one of Joshua’s girlfriends. She looked familiar, not that I recognized her from school, but maybe around the streets or somewhere around our hangout areas. They must have been out gambling, I guess.
“But be thankful,” the blonde gave him a sly look. “Joshua was beaten himself, right after you. Lewis really taught him a lesson.”
No way, I thought. Lewis actually beat Joshua at gamboling?
Dalton smiled a little. “Yeah, I guess. I guess I can ask him for my stuff back.”
The blonde girl rolled her eyes and took Dalton’s face and turned him towards hers. I couldn’t see his expression, but the girl looked at him with a naughty expression.
“Come on, sweetie. Smile some more, you have no idea how cute you are when you smile,” she sounded firm.
Dalton immediately whipped his head away from her, wincing. He held up a hand before she could react. “Yeah, yeah, just stop, okay?” And he added something I couldn’t make out through all the music.
The blonde looked a little crestfallen and a little mad. She started talking in a low, cooing voice as Dalton had his head turned away, wincing. She edged closer to him, and I tried coming in closer to hear what she was saying. She put her arm around his shoulder, and said something that made him turn his head and look at her.
“Ow!” I screamed. Something pulled me by the hips back and I lost sight of Dalton and the babe. I spun around and turned to see Greg, looking at me with crazy, wicked eyes. “Greg, you idiot!” I kicked him in the shin roughly.
“Ahhh! No more of that, seriously! All I wanna do is dance with you, babe.”
“No way I’m dancing with you,” I pulled away from him, but he held on tightly.
“I’m not going to get you drunk, I swear,” he sounded like he was pleading. “Just please. I’ve always thought you were hot. Just let me dance with you.”
“If I’m not letting Joshua dance with me, I’m not letting you dance with me, homo. Go make out with that blonde babe that just walked in.”
Greg looked confused. “Nikki, please. Just this once?”
I listened to the song for a moment. It was a crazy, rocking song with a sexy tone to it. I rolled my eyes. It was probably almost over anyway. I grabbed his hand, squeezed it tight, making sure my shiny black nails dug into his gloves, and yanked him over to dance. He let out groans of pain as we roughly danced around; I was squeezing his hand hard with my nails, and I shook him all around, dancing to the sexy rocking music.
“Okay! Okay, can you please? Your nails are really hurting me,” he pleaded.
I looked at him with narrowed eyes and immediately let go. He quickly clasped his hands together and pressed them against his lips, sitting down at a chair.
“You finished yet?” I sat down on a chair next to him.
“Not just yet,” he looked at me seriously now. “You know, I’ve always liked you and your friend, Jessie, ever since Joshua asked you out.”
I frowned at him. “Wow, I never noticed you. And why are you telling me this-”
“I didn’t mean to get Jessie drunk, but it was impossible to deal with her when she was herself.” He interrupted me. “So that was why I did that. I won’t get you drunk, though, I promise.”
I winced and looked down. Where in the heck was he going with this? This was the strangest guy I’ve ever met, right after Joshua and Lewis.
Suddenly, Greg grabbed me and kissed me, and I automatically punched him away. He had a naughty look on his face now, I and stood up and gave him a kick in the mouth with my heel, hard enough to make him bleed, hard enough to make it hurt like hell and have him fall over. I leaped onto his front, taking a glass of punch from the table and pouring it on his face, washing the blood on his mouth, making him yell in pain and sputter, and wrapped my hands around his neck, making him shut up and choke. I yelled loud cusses at him, banging him up and down against the floor, and ignored the looks nearby people gave me.
“Man whore!” I cussed and cussed at him, then whipped around, running out of the room, passed all the people. I was getting out of here, I couldn’t stand it anymore.
I exited the school, madly looking around in front of the building, and found Edward’s car in the parking lot. Without thinking, I quickly ran over to it, and opened it, knowing it would be locked anyways.
But, surprisingly, it opened. I ignored how it could’ve already been open and I hopped in, slamming the door, and driving away, away from the school, down the street, not thinking.

My mind raged as I sped down the street, not knowing where I was going, nor did I care. I was just looking forward, pissed off at what had just happened in the dance room. I was sooo going to kill Greg. No, I meant it. I was going to murder him the next time I saw him. I was going to watch his life slowly drain away, painfully, slowly, terribly…….
Suddenly a thin figure was crossing the street in front of me. I screamed, reaching for the breaks, as soon as the figure turned to look at me, and the headlights of the car shone into the face of Dalton. But I had already hit the brakes and turned the car to my left, hitting the corner of a building, smashing the side of my face in front of the car, for I hadn’t had my seatbelt on.
I didn’t know how long I had been laying there, but I slowly blinked my eyes open, feeling the right side of my face stinging, but luckily, I only bumped it hard, and it wasn’t bleed too much. I saw a dark shadow approach the driver’s window, and I barely made out a gasp, until I heard a voice.
“Nikki?” The voice hissed.
I groaned. “Dalton? Hey, what the heck are you doing out here you stupid moron, you almost got me killed.”
“So sorry. Hey, do you mind going back home with me? At least back to school campus? I can explain on the way. You have no idea how lucky I am to have found you.”
Dalton sounded urgent. I shifted a little. “Well, at least help me out and put up with all my complaining along the way.”
Dalton said nothing but immediately opened the driver’s door and helped me out of the crashed car.
I stepped out and put a hand to the side of my head. I was bleeding only on the left side, from top to bottom on my face, with a bruise on the left of my forehead.
I turned to the car. The front was smashed a little. “Ugh, Edward’s gonna kill me when he sees his car like this.”
“Hey, he’ll understand when he sees it’s happened in a place like this,” Dalton started walking down the dark sidewalk. The moonlight glowered around the creepy surroundings, and I looked around.
“What kind of place is this?”
“A place we really shouldn’t be in,” Dalton said simply. He pulled his hood up and zipped up his sweater. “It’s where all the street kids hang out, and stuff like that.”
“Oh! Right, Joshua used to hang out around these areas,” I said.
The two of us discussed the dance, and even made some teasing comments about Greg and the babe, whose name was actually Desiree. Dalton was making me feel good again, and giddy, until suddenly, while we were walking around some tall buildings, in the middle of laughing, we suddenly stopped and looked ahead of us. There was laughing and some foul language coming ahead of us, and we could see figures of about seven teenage guys hanging around in front of a building, some were smoking.
“Oh, great. Punk idiots,” Dalton muttered. I rolled my eyes.
As soon as we were no more than a few feet away from the group of gangster-looking guys, they turned around.
“Hey! We got company?” A rough voice sounded.
“Ignore ‘em,” Dalton snapped under his breath at me.
We tried to walk passed them, but they blocked our way, and a tall one with ugly makeup, street clothes, and spiky hair came up in front of us.
“What d’you kids doin’ here so far from home?” He asked, chewing gum.
“Nothin’,” Dalton replied simply. “Just trying to get pass some nasty rubes.”
Instantly, Dalton was punched in the face by the guy, and he fell back into another guy’s arms, and was shoved harshly against the wall of the building. The group of guys started yelling and punching both sides of his face, making him swing his head both ways.
I stared in horror at him. “Dalton!” I was just about to lunge towards him, but the tall guy grabbed my arms. He had a strong grip that hurt me. “Leave him alone, you hideous street freaks!”
“Hey, shut up, girl,” the tall guy snapped. “We know this guy. We’ve seen him a couple times before. But now we’re gonna show him what a loser he really is.”
Dalton gave one of the guys a punch back and yelled cusses at them. “Nikki! Hurry and get-” Dalton was suddenly knocked down by a backpack thrown to the side of his head. I gasped and kicked the guy in the crotch, making him yell in pain and let go.
I savagely pushed passed all the guys, injuring each of them as I ran passed, and saw Dalton lying on the ground, yelling and rolling side to side as the gangsters yelled and kicked at him.
I cussed at them. “Get away from him!” I grabbed each of them by the necks, turning them around and hitting each of them in the crotches, until a foot kicked at my ankles, making me scream and fall over to the ground. I looked up and saw the tall guy give me a look and spit his gum at Dalton.
“Take him to where every cowardly body lies,” he demanded. “And we’ll keep the girl.”
I immediately stood up and looked him in the ugly face. “No way! You wanna go rape someone, go do it in hell, or with a bunch of other sluts I know at school. You child-molesting, butt-rapping…..” I angrily shouted out a bunch of other foul, offending language to his face, until he suddenly whacked his hand against my mouth, hitting me hard against the wall.
“Now listen to me. You blabbering, bickering, inhuman female!” He had his had covering my mouth, pressing me hard again the wall. “You know what we’re gonna do? We’re gonna take your helpless little boyfriend, and hide him where all the other punk kids belong. Then we’re gonna-”
“Manuel! Watch out!” A voice yelled. And suddenly, a brick was thrown and hit the guy on the back of the head, knocking him unconscious on the ground, making him let go of me. Before I could see who had done that, the group immediately started crowding around, fighting again, and I caught a glimpse of Dalton standing, but he was being attacked.
I tried pushing pass the guys to save Dalton, but I kept feeling them try to grab me, until I finally tripped and fell to the ground.
Suddenly, the fighting seemed to quiet down.
“Dudes! Let’s scram!” Some hissed, and I heard some flee.
I looked up and through my stinging, blurry eyes, I could see an even taller figure make his way to my side. The figure was taller and darker than Manuel’s, and dark so that I couldn’t even see the face as the figure looked down at me. It appeared to have a hood on, though it had a strange shape to it, as if the person had a weird hairstyle.
“Keegan, get out of here, man,” the figure’s smooth, deep voice commanded. I heard footsteps fleeing away. My head was throbbing, and the bleeding on the side of my face was getting worse, and I couldn’t help but faint.
When I awoke, I found myself in the back seat of a nice car that smelled of strawberry freshener. I had an icepack to the side of my head. I immediately sat up, looking out of the window, finding myself parked in front of a gas station.
“Hey! Hey, what am I doing here?! Hey! Dalton!” I yelled, banging on the window, confused. I started shaking the car violently, until there was a bang at the other side. I turned and saw the tall dark figure again, with the weird shape of the head. As soon as he pulled the hood off, I recognized…of course… Lewis Rundle.
“Lewis?!” I screamed.
He jumped in the car and slammed the door. “Shh! What in the world are you doing here, Nikki? Have you ever heard of what’s happened to people on these streets?”
“Yeah, yeah, I didn’t know where the heck I was driving. I was just escaping the dance until I bumped into Dalton and we decided to walk back home together,” I was talking quickly. “Then we met those freaks.”
“I know those guys,” Lewis said gravely. “I know them too well. You were really lucky they didn’t get to do what they wanted with you and Dalton.”
“Where is Dalton? What did they do to him?” I suddenly asked.
“I took Dalton to where I saw his mom at this gas station. Luckily, she was still hangin’ around here when I came back. She left now. Took him home in his car, I guess. Didn’t ask about what happened to him, or anything,” Lewis explained. “Now where do you live? It’s almost 11:00 at night.”
I sat back in the car. “Well, what am I gonna do about Edward’s car? I just left it somewhere at that alley.”
“I found it and I’ll take care of it. I’m just gonna take you home now,” said Lewis seriously.
I couldn’t help smiling at him. I told him where I lived and he immediately drove.
“So was Dalton alive when you took him to his mother?” I couldn’t help asking.
I caught Lewis sideways smile from the rearview mirror. “Oh, of course he was alive,” he replied coolly. “Yep, I made sure he really was alive before I gave him away."

I had managed to arrive home when the whole house was asleep. I bet my parents knew I could’ve gone out to hang out with my friends some more since it was a Friday night anyway, and I was always with my friends whenever I wanted to be on Fridays.
But the next morning, dad was looking at me at the table with a serious face. I stared back at him. “What?! What are you staring at, you retard?” I was cranky this morning. Last night had given me nightmares.
“Nikki,” he said firmly. “We just got word from the police that there was a teenage boy killed around Edison Street. And Edward’s car was found not too far away from there. Did you have anything to do with this?”
I blinked. A teenage boy dead? Could it be Dalton? My heart pounded.
“Nikki, answer me. And please tell the truth. We just want to know.”
“Uh, Dalton and I were walking home from Edison street, yes,” I said carefully. I looked around and saw that Edward hadn’t appeared yet, so he must’ve already left for something. “We were trying to escape the dance. It was scary, dad, really! Some people were trying to flirt with us, and so we were just walking home together until we ran into a group of street guys.”
Mother came to join us. “Oh, dear. Nikki, you got into a fight with those guys, didn’t you?”
I rolled my eyes. “Yeah. But we were trying to avoid them! Then one of them just punched Dalton in the face and they all got into this huge fight. Dalton wasn’t the dead body they found, was he?” I gave my mother a terrified look. Lewis did say he had taken him to his mother.
“Oh, no.” Dad answered, laughing. “No, it wasn’t Dalton. It was one of the gangster kids. He was hit by a brick. Did Dalton, by any chance, throw any bricks at those guys?”
“No!” I told them. I was relieved to hear that Dalton hadn’t been found dead. “He didn’t throw anything! But I did see one of them get hit on the head by a brick. But I didn’t see who it was.” Though, it could’ve been Lewis, and probably was.
“The police investigated around that area where they found the guy’s body,” dad explained. “And they found Edward’s car with his ID in there. They called him up and discussed the whole thing with him, and they ended up telling us. Edward said he had no idea why his car was even there.”
“Edward has nothing to do with it,” I assured them.
Mom nodded. “So just do us a favor, and try to stay clear from those areas. And don’t ever go running of in Edward’s car, or anything like that again. I know you lost your mind, but be careful this time. The police are still going to investigate.”
When I was alone in my room, I tried calling up Dalton. I waited there for a few seconds, but there was no answer. I called two more times, and there was still no answer. I sighed angrily through clenched teeth and sent him a text message.
Hey wat happened 2 u last nite? Call me
By Monday, I still hadn’t received a reply from Dalton, but at least today I’ll see him in school today.
In science class, before Ms. Fletcher got the classroom into focus, I sat in my seat, unpacking. Dalton wasn’t here yet, but I looked to the desk next to us where Lewis was unpacking.
“Hey! Lewis!” I called.
He turned with tired, serious eyes, looking at me through a few strands of blonde-purple hair.
“Was that you who threw the brick at the kid?”
Lewis winced, and then shrugged. “Maybe.”
“Well, did you know that he was killed and the police are concerned?” I said seriously. Then I looked around, hopefully not have said it loud enough for anyone to hear. Ms. Fletcher was speaking to a student in the front of the room.
Lewis turned to continue unpacking. “So? Doesn’t matter. You won’t tell the police on me, after I had done it to save both of you.”
Before I could answer, Dalton showed up and dropped his backpack by his seat. I tried to catch a glimpse of his face. He looked tired today, with a tiny wrinkle under his eyes.
“I got a two-hour sleep last night,” he sighed in an annoyed tone.
“What happened to you the other night? Did you just go home? And why didn’t you answer my text message?”
“I got in trouble for being over there, and my mom took away my phone,” Dalton said simply.
We got through the rest of the class talking through little whispers every now and then, and finally, when we were in P.E., I suddenly had the strange urge to go to the bathroom.
I forgot about the one in the locker rooms, I just ran over to the one near the front of the school, the only one that actually had mirrors, and hurried up. I stood in the stalls for a moment, thinking, then washed my hands and stepped outside, then stopped as soon as I saw Dalton headed my way, walking in a sauntering way with his head looking down and his left arm covering the left side of his face. He was walking pretty slow and was wobbling a little, as if he was very weak. During P.E., he looked like he was going to faint, and Mr. Albrecht made him go see the nurse, but he looked even worse now.
Suddenly, Analiese appeared, walking passed me so quickly she didn’t notice me, and walked passed Dalton. Dalton muttered something I couldn’t hear to her as she walked passed him.
“Loser!” She said back, smiling.
As soon as she disappeared, Dalton almost tripped, and back away, hitting his back against the wall, and pulled his hood over his entire head. He let out a yell and yanked it off and started running towards my way, head looking down.
I quickly stepped back into the bathroom. But just before I disappeared behind the corner, I turned back to see that Dalton had ran into the girls’ bathroom, joining me. He was grabbing onto the sink and leaning over as if he were going to throw up, though he was moaning in pain, and trying to make himself throw up. I winced. What the heck was going on with him? Did he even know he was in the girls’ bathroom?
Suddenly, Dalton threw himself back, hitting against the wall hard, as if someone had taken him and thrown him. He slowly lowered to the floor, pressing his back against the wall, yelling in pain, his eyes squeezed tightly shut. He was constantly yelling in pain and anger, and when he had reached the floor, he groaned and cussed, banging his head back against the wall. I didn’t know whether to try helping since I was the only one there, or just let him be. What was his problem? Was he sick, or something?
Suddenly, Dalton paused, panting, as he slowly moved his hand towards his neck. Then he shot up towards the sink and started coughing violently. And I’ve never seen such violent coughing. He was coughing, and it was sounding worse and worse, more deadly and violent than the one before, and suddenly, he choked out a spill of blood in the sink. I thought I was going to be sick. He suddenly started coughing out loads of thick blood, and finally, he turned away from the sink, his back towards me, and grabbed his neck, bending over, and threw up the largest amount of blood he can. He threw up some more, and the blood was thick, dark red and drippy, and he couldn’t stop throwing up loads of it. It seemed as if it could go on forever. I was totally horrified, thought I would throw up and die as well, until suddenly, he bent down to throw up a small amount of blood, and then fell over to his side.
I probably would’ve stepped over him and tried to look like nothing happened, but I was too horrified and concerned. I took small steps towards Dalton. He was lying on a pool of blood with his hood covering his head.
“D-Dalton?” I squatted and saw that his hands were strangely pale. Was he still alive? I carefully took his hood by two fingers, and slowly lifted it. I caught a glimpse of his hair blocking his face, but suddenly, he shot up, looking at me with wild eyes, and then rushed out of the bathroom. I stared out the door as he left, wincing. I got up, almost slipping a little on the blood, and looked out from the bathroom. There was no sign of Dalton. I looked and saw that there wasn’t any sign of any janitors around here either, so I really didn’t want to waste my time around the blood mess, so I quickly headed towards P.E. Then I stopped. I didn’t want some teacher or anyone else around school to notice the blood all around the bathroom, so I looked around for a janitor, and found one at the lunch area.
“Excuse me? There’s a mess in the girls bathroom?” I told the janitor guy.
He asked a question in Spanish and pointed to the front part of the school.
“Uh, yeah. Right over there,” I pointed to the front part. He nodded and took his stuff. I watched him go, then hurried back over to P.E. I wondered what his reaction would be like, but it was better for him to see it and clean it before someone else saw it.
Dalton had been absent for the rest of that day, then the next morning, I was surprised to actually see him in school. I was scared to be next to him now. But I couldn’t help asking him something.
“Hey, are you okay?”
He slowly turned to me with a confused expression. “What?”
“Well, you know. Just yesterday, you seemed very sick during P.E., and you left for home so……”
“Oh, yeah. I was just feeling sick, that’s all. I’m unfortunately all better enough to come to school today.”
“But what happened to you?” I kept my eyes on his jacket. There was a faint stain of red from the blood he had fallen on yesterday. It obviously looked like he had tried to wash it away.
“Nothing,” he said in an indignant tone, wincing a little. “I just felt like I was going to faint in P.E., and ended up feeling sick the rest of the day.”
From over his shoulder, I caught Lewis turn his head and give us a narrow-eyed glance and then turn away.
“Whatever,” I shrugged. “Just wondering. And wait, what’s that stain on your jacket?”
“What? This?” He lifted his right arm so that the entire fainted stain was more visibly and bigger, surprising me a little. “Oh, this has always been there. I don’t know what that is.”
I frowned at him. “Sure.” I was struck. Why did he have to be lying to me? I was just trying not to show how angry I was so that he didn’t think I knew he was lying.
“What? Really! It’s been there for a long time. I had this jacket for years, it could be anything.” He looked at me with wide, serious eyes.
I admired that expression, and felt better. I bet I could see a scared look in those eyes. But I was still mad about him lying, as if he didn’t trust me. “Yeah, whatever Dalton,” I turned away from him. “I was just wondering, that’s all.”
“Yeah, I know,” he replied simply.
I wondered whether he really did mean what he meant, if he must’ve just forgotten what had happened yesterday in the girls’ bathroom, or if he really was lying. No, of course he was lying. Why would the stain on his jacket look like it had been washed? He wouldn’t have done that and thought the blood stain had been there forever. Clearly, something must’ve happened to him yesterday in the girls’ bathroom. Why did he feel sick in the first place? He was talking and messing around with Lewis during P.E., then complains about feeling sick all of a sudden. Something happened to him in the girls’ bathroom, and he was trying to hide it.
By lunch, I was sitting with Jessie, Jenny, and Analiese. I was discussing my day at the dance and the whole thing with the group of gangsters.
“Man, I wouldn’t have been scared to just punch ‘em back or kick them all in the nuts either,” Jessie laughed rudely.
Suddenly, a group of boys ran passed us on the left side. All I caught was just Jeremy, Ashton, Sam, and James. Ashton sat with us, laughing and panting.
“Oh-ho-ho! You guys won’t believe what just happened- hey Jeremy! No! Give it back!” Ashton got up again and ran after Jeremy, who had an icepack in his hand. The two of them ran away, laughing.
“What the heck happened?” Jenny said.
Gabriel was just running towards Ashton and Jeremy, and was right behind us.
“Hey, Gabriel!” I called. “Gabriel, what’s going on?” He didn’t hear me. He continued laughing like a moron after Ashton and Jeremy. I rolled my eyes.
“Oh my gosh, Dalton!” Jessie screamed with such expression that I immediately whipped my head over to where Joshua, Dalton, and Edward all stood together. Dalton was in between them, with his hood on, and he had a deep, nasty cut slashed right under his left eye. It looked as if someone had taken a knife and deeply stabbed him under the eye. He was looking back at Jessie with his eyes wide with annoyance.
“Whoa! What happened, Dalton?” I called.
“Are you emo?” Jenny called sassily.
“Shut up, Jenny!” Dalton scoffed. “Danielle threw an icepack at my eye! She threw an icepack at my freakin’ eye!”
“Danielle threw it at you?” Jessie winced. “Omigosh, I’m actually very proud of her! That was such a nice thing for her to do!” Jessie was sounding all bubbly now. “Did it hurt? Tell me it hurt!”
“Yeah, it hurt him like heck,” Edward said sassily, nudging Dalton.
“Yeah, it so did!” Joshua teased. “You should’ve seen yourself, Dalton! You were like, ‘Ah, what the heck? My eye! My eye!’” Joshua mocked him with his right hand covering his eye.
“Shut up!” Dalton punched him in the shoulder, smiling. Then he turned to Jessie, returning his annoyed expression. “Danielle threw Ashton’s icepack at me. What the heck! Where is she? I so don’t want to see that stupid…” he walked away with Joshua and Edward following him, yelling teasing comments after him, Dalton responding back with cusses. I couldn’t help but stare after him. He was actually mad at Danielle.
“If you don’t want to see her, then why you looking for her?” Analiese called after him, then turned to giggle with Jessie and Jenny, and me, who pretended to think it was funny. “Seriously, he’s so stupid!”
“OMG! I’m actually very proud of Danielle now! Where is she? I wanna congratulate her!” Jessie laughed.
“Ha! I wanna know why she even threw it at him!” I put in. “Is she getting tired of him, or something?”
Gabriel came over to join us. He was laughing. “Hey, did you guys see Dalton?”
“Yeah! His eye?” Jenny said.
“Yeah! Danielle threw Ashton’s icepack at him! She didn’t mean to, though,” said Gabriel.
“She didn’t mean to?” I looked at him.
“What?!” Said Jessie.
Gabriel shook his head, wincing. “No, she didn’t mean to. She’s crying about it right now. She meant to throw the icepack at Joshua, but Dalton got in the way. She’s crying about hitting Dalton right now.”
“So she meant to hit Joshua?” I was halfway smiling.
Gabriel laughed. “But hey! She hit Dalton in the eye! And you should’ve seen him! He was actually crying!”
“He cried?” Jenny grimaced.
“Yeah! In the bathroom! I’m gonna go find him right now, I can’t take it!” Gabriel left and went looking for Dalton and the others.
I was lost in thought after Gabriel had mentioned Dalton crying, until Jessie annoyingly nudged me.
“Hey, Danielle’s over there! Let’s go cheer her up and tell her what a great job she’s done!” Jessie pointed to the table in front of us where Danielle sat alone, her face in her hands, crying.
“Jessie, I don’t think that’s going to help!” I yelled, following her, Jenny, and Analiese.
We sat by Danielle, trying to comfort her.
“I’m the worst girlfriend ever! Now he doesn’t even wanna speak to me! He hates me now!” She sobbed.
“You know, Danielle, no offense, but, he’s probably not worth it anyway,” Analiese said comfortingly.
“And he knows you didn’t mean it,” I told her.
“It doesn’t matter! I still hit him! I meant to hit Joshua! Remember how I told you before that I was going to repay Joshua for you when he tried to kiss you several weeks ago? I tried throwing the icepack at him, but it hit Dalton!”
“Well, that’s good!” Jessie gave her a pat on the back. “I’m very proud of you for giving him that cut under the eye. Good job!”
“Shut up, Jessie,” Jenny gave her a friendly nudge.
I felt bad. Danielle had meant to hit Joshua- for me- and she ended up hitting Dalton on accident, making herself feel bad. “It’s okay, Danielle. I really thank you for trying to hit Joshua, though.” I gave her a naughty smile.
“Dalton will understand if you tell him yourself you didn’t mean to do it,” said Jenny reassuringly.
“Yeah, I guess,” she said sulkily.
I couldn’t help thinking about Danielle for the rest of the day, and finally, when school ended, I heard Jenny talking with the strange girl, Jessica.
“She’s talking with Dalton now. She just can’t feel comfortable until she knows he feels comfortable with her,” she said dramatically.
I winced and caught Danielle disappear behind the building. I couldn’t help but follow. I just can’t help seeing how her talk with Dalton would go like. As soon as I started walking after her, Lewis slowly walked passed me, making eye contact with me, licking the top of his teeth. I eyed him for a moment, and then continued on.
I found myself in front of Mr. Valentino’s door. It was closed, and I looked around. It was empty around this part of the school.
“You do know it was just an accident, right?”
I turned at the sound of Danielle’s voice. I saw that Dalton and Danielle were standing in front of each other, just around Mr. Valentino’s door. I stood right behind the wall behind them.
“Of course I know it’s an accident! Geez, I know you’re sorry,” Dalton was laughing a little.
“Yeah, I know. I meant to hit Joshua since I promised Nikki I would humiliate Joshua for trying to kiss her, but you just suddenly walked in the way.”
“Yeah. I know you’re sorry though. It’s fine. I’m fine. I’m used to injuries like this, you know it,” Dalton gave a slight chuckle.
“Just….just let me do one thing to show I really am sorry,” said Danielle.
“Sure, anything,” Dalton sounded a little confused. I couldn’t help peeking over and watching what was going on.
Danielle had her eyes closed as she stood with her back turned towards me, facing Dalton. “Don’t move,” she whispered. And she leaned in closer to him, and gave him a kiss on the lips. Dalton, confused and unprepared, looked at her in his confused, surprised expression, then closed his eyes and kissed with her. She wrapped her arms around his neck and they kissed more.
I was struck. I was blown away. As soon as I saw Dalton’s surprised, scared expression leave, I immediately covered my mouth from giving out the slightest squeal, and turned back around, hiding back behind the wall, fuming. I wanted to scream so badly, I pulled my ponytails and took a fuming deep breath, calming myself down.
Suddenly, I heard a muffled scream from Danielle, and I turned around to see- to my horror- that Dalton was pressing his lips harder against Danielle, and gripping her so she wouldn’t escape, and Danielle didn’t have her arms around his neck anymore. She was waving them in the air, screaming with her mouth still kissing Dalton. Suddenly, Dalton pushed her hard against the wall, and pressed his lips harder against her, and I nearly threw up as I saw drops of blood start dripping from between Dalton and Danielle’s mouths. Then Danielle stopped screaming, closed her eyes, and let her body go limp, falling into Dalton’s arms. I could clearly see Danielle’s bloody lips and lots of blood dripping from her mouth. As Dalton caught her, he bit into her neck, and I held my breath as I started to see some blood dripping from his mouth.
I let out a slight squeal, and then dashed away, running like a crazy, helpless person, bumping into walls and nearly tripping over. When I reached the front of the school, I bumped into the corner of the wall as I tried to make a turn, and I whimpered and yelled out a cuss word, spinning around dizzily. But as I was spinning, I managed to catch a glimpse of Dalton coming over, wiping his mouth with the sleeve of his jacket. I gasped and tripped, falling over clumsily, cussing in annoyance again, and fell in front of Dalton. I looked up and saw him looking down at me, wincing with confusion. I gasped in humiliation and quickly got up, brushing myself and straightening my ponytails.
“What the heck were you doing?” He said in a confused tone, though I was sure I heard some surprise there.
“What? Oh! Nothing. Just hangin’ around after school, looking for Jessie, or anyone,” I said simply, not meeting his gaze. I looked at him. “What were you doing? Detention again?”
“Yeah. Ms. Fletcher again. I forgot to do my homework,” he smiled naughtily, rolling his eyes a little.
“Yeah,” I eyed him. “’Cause I thought you would be with Danielle also. She told us she wanted to talk to you after school, even though Jessie kept insisting it wasn’t worth it.”
Dalton met my gaze. “Yeah, I was just talking to Danielle just now. I forgive her, of course. She made it clear she was sorry, and I accept it.”
“Where is she now?” I asked casually.
“Oh, she just went home. She wanted to come over to my house and feel better about it, but I told her to just go home and be by herself and feel better by herself before coming to see me.”
I kept my eyes on him, nodding. Then suddenly, something caught my eye that made me say it out loud.
“Oh my gosh, what’s that red stuff on your shirt?” I pointed to some new, wet red liquid spilled on his right shoulder, and up to the side of his neck.
He quickly flashed a glance at the red spot. “Oh, that’s just from Ms. Fletcher’s detention. She made me clean some red dye and stuff.”
“Really,” I narrowed my eyes at him.
“Yes!” His eyes bore into me, wide with seriousness. “I swear! What else could it be?”
“I don’t know,” I smiled at him, narrowing my eyes. I started circling him slowly. “It could be blood.” I was talking in a sassy tone, keeping my eyes narrowed and smiling at him as I circled. “It sure looks like blood, or it could be paint. It looks too thick to be dye.”
Dalton slowly turned his head to me, his eyes wincing, though I didn’t miss the frightened look in them. “Yeah. But surprisingly, it’s red dye. Ms. Fletcher made me clean all kinds of food dye for detention.”
I stopped and faced him. “And the red one was the only one that spilled on you?”
“Yeah. I’ve gotta get home before my mom thinks I’ve got another detention coming up,” and Dalton suddenly walked pass me, so quickly at such a fast walking pace, disappearing behind the row of houses in a flash.
I stared after him. Then I started walking home. Then, feeling lost and out of my mind again, I started running. I was shocked. I was scared. I was bewildered. Dalton was a vampire. He had sucked the blood from his own girlfriend, Danielle.

I had no idea whether to tell anyone about what I knew. Cousin Lynn and Analiese were the only ones I knew who could keep a secret, well, Lynn at least. But I still doubted anyone would even believe me if I told what I knew. I even saw how Dalton turned into a vampire in the girls’ bathroom.
This morning, I was hanging out with Jessie, Gabriel, Nate, William, Anthony, and stupid Joshua, who was butting in and messing around with all of us, and I saw Dalton coming over to Lewis, who was standing with a group of his own strange friends. There were about seven of them, and they all looked tall and dark, some gothic, and the only one I recognized was Jessica, standing right by Lewis’s side.
“Lewis is the weirdest person I’ve ever met,” Jessie said. “But he’s actually really hot.”
“He’s awesome! And stupid Dalton’s all following him around, so Lewis just acts like he’s his favorite person in the school,” said Joshua rudely.
We joked around until the bell rang, and once we sat in our seats in science, I glanced at Dalton as he sat down.
“You know, you look really pale today. Is it just me?” I said in a casual, concerning tone.
“What? I’m always white. Look at Nate. He’s pretty white.”
Yeah, Nate was one of the very light-skinned people, but not the way Dalton looked right now. He was so pale white, I wondered if anyone else noticed how whiter he was. It was very noticeable as well. I looked around to see everyone else’s skin, how dark it would look compared to Dalton’s.
And that’s when I caught it. I looked over to Lewis, and saw that his face was like a ghost’s. It was pure white, and whiter than Dalton. How could have I not noticed this before? I saw that his hands had dark violet gloves over them, and his neck had a black velvet with a skull on it, wrapped around. His face was the only part on him that had visible skin. But how could have I not noticed how white he was?
“Nikki, stop daydreaming and get out your reading questions like everyone else does,” Ms. Fletcher called across the room to me.
I glanced at her and took out my homework from my science folder.
By lunchtime, I was too lost in thought about Dalton. I saw him sitting with Nate, William, and Anthony inside the cafeteria, as I waited in line. Did any of them ask why he looked so white today? Or that he had slightly sharper teeth? I guess it was the braces that made it less noticeable.
“Noticing anything different?”
A deep, smooth voice surprised me. I turned and looked behind me. Lewis was right behind me, standing tall, chin up, looking over at Dalton, eyes serious and focused.
“Uh, yeah. I guess he’s a little white?”
“And that he’s got fangs behind those braces?” Lewis turned to meet my gaze. “Danielle’s not here today. She said she was going to speak with him after school yesterday.”
I winced visibly at him. “I know. So?” I didn’t want to talk to him about anything, whatever he was trying to do.
Lewis shrugged. “He follows me around like I’m his guide to the world. And I may be sorta like a friend to him, but I do know something about him. One is that…he likes you.”
My ponytails nearly fell off. I turned to face Lewis again. “Are you just…, Dalton does not like me, seriously. Go try telling Jessie that Jeremy wants to ask her out. She’ll believe you.”
“Nikki, I’m not being kidding,” Lewis replied in a flat, bored tone, looking at me with a tired, serious expression. “Dalton likes you. He thinks you’re hot. He thinks about you in the back of his head, ever since you two became science partners. All I can say is just be careful ‘bout that.”
As I walked over to sit next to Jessie, I was wincing at what Lewis had just said to me. What the heck was he trying to do? And it was obvious he knew Dalton was a vampire. He told me to be careful since he liked me. I slowed my pace down and my legs wobbled. Dalton liked me. I was the one that liked him! Yet, he had a crush on me! Or, at least according to what Lewis says. Was he even telling the truth? I thought about the way Dalton acted around me. Did he really have a crush on me? He acted the same as he did around people he knew well, maybe a little nicer and polite than normal, but I could never guess he liked me. But one thing was surely the same. I liked him. I liked him whether he was a vampire or not. The thought of him being a vampire made me think of him even more, made me think more about how deadly he could be, how dangerous he was…….and how much hotter he could be. I noticed already how his eyes looked more wild and attractive in his pale white face, and his white skin made him look more distinctive in his clothes.
I sat down slowly next to Jessie, and a big group of other people. Tess and Tesseline were sitting in front of Jessie, right next to Jenny.
“Lewis is soooooo hot!” Tess squealed, clenching her fists tightly.
“He is so nice to us!” Tesseline put in. “He treats us like we’re little girls! The other day, Ashton and Jeremy took Tess’s binder since she stole their math homework, and Tess was just about to rip their homework until Lewis came and made them give back her binder. The way he sounded when he told them to give it back, he sounded like he was worried for Tess, or that he thought she was helpless or something!”
“Lewis is hot,” Jenny agreed.
Jessie suddenly banged her hands on the table in front of herself, making Tess, Tesseline, and Jenny look at her. “I know, he is, oh my gosh!”
“He stares at me across the room in science!” Jenny said in a giddy voice, almost sounding like Jessie. “I love it, it makes me so…..uh! I know he probably doesn’t like me, or anything, but still!”
I rolled my eyes, grimacing. “Analiese likes him, but she’s too scared to come up and talk to him!”
“Pshyaa! I talk to him all the time! Seriously, who’s scared of talking to someone like Lewis?” Jessie said.
“I know, we follow him around so much and blabber all the time!” Tess squealed. “He must think we’re weird, but he’s responding to us, and not telling us to butt out or anything!”
“Wow, really?” Jeremy turned. “Lewis is the strangest person then. Who can actually be that patient to stand hearing you two?”

Tess punched him in the arm. “Shut up, Jeremy!”
“You know what’s weird?” I said in a quieter voice as soon as Tess and Tesseline started bickering with Jeremy. “Lewis told me the weirdest thing. He says Dalton likes me.”
“You know what? I think he does,” Jessie nodded, raising her eyebrows, which took me aback since I was expecting her to start teasing about such a strange comment.
I frowned at her. “Oh, shut up. Of course he doesn’t. Why would he, anyway?”
“Hey! You sit next to him in every class, and you guys always mess with each other during P.E. He’s probably grown to like you, Nikki,” Jessie said in a sassy tone, raising her eyebrows at me, grinning.
I winced at her and smacked her shoulder as she leaned closer. “Yeah, right. He probably knows me better, as a friend. But he can’t like me.”
“Aw, it’s okay. Danielle’s not here today,” Jessie patted me on the shoulder.
Suddenly, Tess and Tesseline started screaming in their high-pitched voices, before I could say anything. They jumped up and started running towards Lewis as he appeared with the same group of strange looking kids again, and Dalton at his side.
“Geez, shut up, Tess and Tesseline, dammit,” Jeremy muttered.
For the rest of lunch, Jessie and everyone else couldn’t help chatting with Lewis, so I did as well. I actually always thought Lewis was a cool guy, but those friends of his seemed strange, and they just hung out, talking with themselves, avoiding the rest of us talking to Lewis.
At home, I spent time on the computer, though this time, instead of chatting on Facebook the whole time, I googled vampires. I ignored Wikipedia since this wasn’t just a little term I was trying to figure out and get over with. I really wanted to find out about vampires. I found an article with a dark, bloody background, and read. I discovered some strange things, info about their history, and sensitivity to sunlight. Today had been cloudy, and it had been cloudy for the past few days. It was nearing winter, as well our Christmas break, and the days were going to continue to be pretty cloudy often. I then googled, “people turning into vampires,” trying to see if I could get anything on how Dalton could’ve become a vampire. I had seen it happen, but I didn’t know how or why it had happened.
Suddenly, there was a pop and I saw that I had another tab where I was logged into my Facebook account. It was a message from Dalton.
“Hey, Nikki” was all he said.
I typed back a response. “Sup?”
“nothin much. what are you doing right now?”
I made up a response. “Nothin. Just searching stuff. You did your homework? ;)”
“Yeah. in class. Lol. I had nothing to do at home. Ive been on the computer all day. You have Lewis’s number?”
“no, why?”
“I got his number. And jessica’s. and almost the rest of his friends’.”
I winced, and then I dared to respond, “Lewis’s friends are weird. Hey, so have you spoken with Danielle? Why was she absent?”
There was a minute before his next response popped up. “I tried speaking with her, but she didn’t respond her phone, or she wasn’t online. I sent her a text message and a message to her, both asking if she was alright, and why she missed school.”
I frowned at his response. Yeah right. Lucky I liked him enough to let him get away with lying to me. “She’s still mad at you probably, lol.” I responded.
Another minute passed by before his next response popped up. “Eh, Danielle wont stay mad for long, I know her. And you see her crying almost every day about something, but then she gets over it.”
I spent the rest of the night chatting with Dalton about different things, from school stuff to life and people, and then finally I had to go to bed. Before I left, I clicked on Dalton’s name on Facebook, which was “Dalton Jones.” I went to his profile, where, to the left side of his profile was a picture of himself holding up two fingers by his face. He had a bored smile on his face. He had nothing posted on his wall. I clicked on where it said “photos” on his profile. It opened up a few pictures, for he hadn’t uploaded too many pictures, the way me and Jessie had. But I browsed around the few pictures he did have. He had some pictures of him and Nate with wild faces at some party, and him and Anthony both holding the peace sign with wild faces. My favorite picture was the one picture of him sitting on the top of a brick wall with his legs stretched out in front of him with one knee up and his right hand resting on his left knee, the other hand holding himself up. He had an expression that had no smile, though no madness, sadness, or boredom, he just had a straight face. He had a black jacket on and he had tight pants. He looked cute in that picture. Why would he take a picture of him that way though? All the rest of his pictures showed him wild with friends, with Danielle, or him in cool poses, but this one just had him sitting on the brick wall with his legs stretched out in front of him, one knee up with his left hand resting on it. It was my favorite picture though.
The next morning, I woke up on the floor. I frowned, screwing up my face, and kicked the chair behind me, making it fall against my closet door with a crash. I gave out a grumpy yell. I hated waking up in a stupid way, but I was cranky in the mornings all the time anyway. After taking a shower, I rushed to my computer with a towel around me. I had to check something. It had suddenly just popped in my head. I googled, “vampire hunger,” and looked for any information on how vampires get thirsty for blood. All I could find was a small article. It stated that vampires are safe to be around with as long as they are not hungry for blood. It said they can be like normal people towards others, act normal, as long as they are not thirsty for human blood. I winced. Why would Dalton be so thirsty that he had to drink the blood from Danielle? Was it really that bad? I gulped as I caught something on the article. “Vampires can sense the blood of any human around them, especially when they are thirsty.” Could he have sensed me? I was there, right behind the wall, watching him suck the life out of Danielle. He seriously could’ve, and should’ve scented me. I exited the page and logged in to Facebook. I quickly checked Danielle’s profile, and went to her photos. I looked for a picture of her and Dalton, and saw a picture of her grinning wildly, and Dalton’s face facing toward hers, lips puckered, as if ready to kiss her. His eyes were looking towards me, eyebrows raised, looking cute, despite the fact that he meant to kiss Danielle. I stared at the picture with a grimace, shaking my head slowly. Yeah, right, I thought to myself. When he finally did kiss her, he couldn’t help but suck the blood outta her. And plus, he had a crush on me, if Lewis was telling the truth.
Lewis had a Facebook account, I just remembered. We all became friends with him a long time ago. I opened up a new tab and searched his profile and saw that he had ten albums full of a thousand pictures. And when I saw the first one, my eyes widened in surprise. There was a picture of him a Jessica, each having an arm around each other’s shoulders, and they both gave wild, crazy expressions, mouths dropped open, eyes narrowed in craziness, and they both held up two fingers. Jessica’s hair looked crazy, and Lewis’s hair had the same hairstyle, except it was frizzy around it. I noticed something about Lewis’s teeth. They looked incredibly sharp, and very clean. But they were as sharp as a cat’s. I winced and leaned in to get a closer look. Were they always that sharp, or was it just something he was wearing in the picture? I couldn’t see Jessica’s teeth, she had her tongue sticking out, covering the bottom parts so I couldn’t see very well, whether they were sharp or not. I winced at Lewis’s teeth, and as I looked at the rest of his pictures, I could barely find ones when he had his mouth open enough so I can see his teeth. But the ones that did show his teeth, they still had the same sharpness to them. I winced. I was going to get a closer look at Lewis’s teeth at school today. I exited the tab, and found myself looking at the picture of Dalton and Danielle again.
I stared, transfixed again. I gave a naughty smile, knowing he really did like me, and if I was too scared to ask him out, I wouldn’t have to not expect him to do it instead. I gave another wicked smile and exited that tab, and looked in my closet for some attracting clothes. I was feeling uptight and giddy, and in the mood to dress badly, slutty, to attract Dalton and show him how slutty I could look. I snatched up a tight black and white striped shirt that was as high as a bra. I took the tightest of my black tights, and put both on. If I were to put a bra on, it would make the shirt look thicker, since it was as high as a bra, so I didn’t bother. I looked at myself in the bathroom as I put the clothes on. I put my hair up in two crazy ponytails like usual, except this time, I actually brushed it, so that it still looked like a crazy rock star’s ponytails, except without all the frizzy hair around it. Instead of two black earrings pressed on my ears, I got the ones that hung fancy. I made my eyeliner extra dark, not thick, just darker color of black. Then I decided to wear something I barely wore. I took a black dot ring, and pressed it against my lip. I did have a lip-piercing, though I barely used it. I looked at myself. I just needed high heels and that would be the best.
I hurried downstairs, had a bagel, and then stopped before I got out the door. I should bring a sweater before I got in trouble with the teachers for dressing badly. All I wanted was Dalton to see me before I got on school grounds and into trouble. So I took my black short-sleeved sweater. I walked to school, strutting in my high heels, with a serious look on my face. I just had to cross the street before entering the school grounds in front of the school building. I looked around for Dalton, but I saw no sign of anyone I knew in my class. I crossed the street, and walked down the sidewalk. I didn’t see any sign of Dalton yet, so I dared to enter the school grounds, and saw Nate heading towards my way, looking down. I didn’t look at him, but he looked up and noticed me as I walked passed him. As I walked passed him, Nate raised his eyebrows, looking down at my incredibly long legs, even longer and skinnier than his, and I could feel his stare as he slowly passed me. And when he finally passed me altogether, he looked behind to catch one more look at my legs in black tights and high heels, raising his eyebrows. I could still feel his stare, and I shifted my eyes a little. I looked around and noticed other people giving me quick glances, rather than long, slow stares like Nate, and I realized I maybe should put my short-sleeved sweater on. I had to button it also. I usually wore it open to show my shirts, but I guess I barely had one on, so, darn it, I had to button it before Dalton could even see it.
I met up with Tess and Tesseline, sitting on the benches, blabbering about something like usual.
Tess turned to glance at me, and then widened her eyes. “OMG, Nikki! I love your tights! Soooo awesome! Where’d you get ‘em?”
“Yeah! Cute shoes! OMG!” Tesseline put in.
I gave a sideways smile. “Eh, I probably really shouldn’t be dressing like this. Hey, have you seen Dalton?”
“Nah. Who cares? He’s probably following Lewis around, acting like a jerk,” Tess shrugged.
“Yeah. And Lewis is by the girls’ and boys’ bathroom near the front of the school,” said Tesseline.
“Yeah. Just wanted to know. I chatted with him on Facebook all night,” I said as I left.
In science class, Ms. Fletcher had us work on our lab questions from yesterday, and I worked with Dalton. I noticed a strange, nice smell, a smell that reminded me of Lewis.
“Hey, you kinda smell like Lewis today. I know it sounds weird, but you do,” I brought up.
Dalton met my gaze. “Oh, yeah. Lewis let me use his cologne, he says it keeps you focused. I didn’t really care about that, I just liked the smell.”
The smell even overpowered all the perfume I wore. “Huh! I’ve got like five perfumes sprayed on me, and I can’t even smell it through that.” I chuckled.
Before Dalton could say anything back, Ms. Fletcher came over and tapped Dalton’s desk. “Dalton, someone wants to see you in the office. Now.”
And as soon as Dalton left, Ms. Fletcher turned to me. “And spit your gum out, Nikki,” she started to smile.
I glanced at her, hiding my annoyance and disappointment. I walked over to the trash can and spit out my gum. When I sat back in my chair, Ms. Fletcher came back with a detention slip, giving me a sideways smile. “You think I’m not that smart? I’m smarter than you think.” She wrote my name on the detention slip, and handed it to me, smirking. “And don’t think I don’t know what you’re hiding under that sweater. I can tell by how you’re dressed everywhere else. You’re not supposed to dress against the dress code, we went over that a few days ago, didn’t we? The last time you had detention? We’re allowed to wear tights and piercings, but no high heels and low cut shirts. I’m glad you’re hiding it, though. I’ll see you in detention tomorrow.”
During P.E., while we played volleyball, Analiese came over to my side. “Hey, why were you wearing such a high shirt this morning? And those tights? Are you trying to get in trouble on purpose for some reason?”
“No,” I replied simply. “Just felt like dressing that way. That’s all.”
“Hey, why’s Danielle absent again?” Analiese suddenly sounded concerned. “It’s weird. And she didn’t even answer the messages I sent to her on Facebook. She’s not even online at all. I tried to call her, but she didn’t answer. I even tried her parents’ home number also, and even they didn’t answer.”
I looked at Analiese. “Not even her parents were there?” I started feeling even more concerned now.
Analiese shook her head, wincing. “Nope. I wonder what’s with her.”
I looked away. Maybe I should break it to Dalton and tell him I knew he was a vampire, and ask what the heck’s going on with him. I looked over to his volleyball team on the boys’ side. He was jumping around in front of Anthony, who tried pushing him out of the way. The both were laughing and messing around like always, and even in his white P.E. shirt, Dalton looked whiter than he should. As he laughed out loud, I could see part of his sharp teeth behind his braces.

The next day at school, Ms. Fletcher quieted us down hastily. She had an urgent look on her face.
“Okay, if I can get everyone’s attention, please? Alright, has anyone heard from Danielle lately?”
The class paused, and started shaking their heads, mumbling and wincing.
“Ask Dalton!” Nate said, turning to grin at Dalton, who was leaning back in his chair, playing with the black gloves I just noticed him wearing on his hands.
Everyone turned to Dalton. Dalton looked up. “What?”
“Everyone thinks you should know where Danielle is,” Ms. Fletcher had that sarcastic grin on her face she always gave to me. “Do you have any idea where she could be?”
Dalton winced and shrugged. “I have no idea where she is.”
“Oh, yeah, nice job taking care of your girlfriend, Dalton,” Nate teased.
“Well,” Ms. Fletcher faced the class with a serious look now. “Actually, I just got word from Mr. Pietrok last night that the police spoke with him and told him that Danielle was found dead in the middle of the street right by our school.” The class instantly started chattering, surprised. “And her parents were both dead in their house.” Ms. Fletcher spoke quietly and seriously. The class gasped. I nearly fainted off my chair.
“The police spoke with Mr. Pietrok?” Jenny asked.
Ms. Fletcher nodded, raising her eyes. “Last night. The police just told him since they had found her ID in her backpack, and figured out her address and everything after checking through the rest of her backpack, and found her parents dead in their house. Very disturbing, I know. We’ll all miss Danielle.” Ms. Fletcher spoke very calmly, in a way I’ve never heard before. The class murmured and looked at one another with sadness and concern.
“What happened to her parents?” James asked.
Ms. Fletcher turned to him with tired, depressed eyes. “The police don’t know yet. They said they were both dead in the kitchen with the stove on, and the doors all closed, and if you forget to open the door to let some air out while cooking, it can destroy the air in your house, depending on the way you cook. But they don’t know yet, since they said they did see them bleeding when they were dead.”
I swallowed, and turned slowly to look at Dalton. He was staring right at Ms. Fletcher without a scare in his eyes. He opened his mouth slightly, and he licked the back of his braces at his teeth, his tongue bumping as he licked over his longer, sharp teeth.
“What are we going to do without Danielle?” Asked Jessie in a low tone.
Ms Fletcher shrugged, not meeting her gaze, looking confused and expressionless. “I don’t know. There’s nothing we can do. All we have to do is remember her every day, and just move on.” She sounded serious, and this time, she didn’t say move on with our lives.
As soon as morning announcements came on, the vice principal, Mr. Fharr, just said the normal, daily things in the announcements, and then in the middle of announcements, he mentioned one thing about crossing the streets. “Students, please be very careful when crossing the streets, the streets are very busy especially after school, and even though you may not have seen it happen, it is very easy to have an accident while trying to cross the streets, especially around here around the school.”
When announcements were over, Ms. Fletcher didn’t want to do notes on a day like this, so we just discussed different possibilities about what could’ve caused the death of Danielle’s parents. Of course, for all they knew, Danielle had been killed trying to cross the street. No one could suspect that someone in this very classroom could’ve turned into a vampire and sucked the life out of her…….except…….maybe…….I turned to Lewis. He hadn’t said very much during the discussion, but he did say a little. Dalton and I didn’t say anything at all. We couldn’t help it. I wondered if Dalton had noticed how quiet I had been, and whether he suspected anything about me or not.
In art, my table discussed Danielle while we sketched a picture of our favorite country we’ve been to. I could see Dalton trying to say as much as he could, but he was still a little quieter and didn’t say too much.
“Did you guys like her?” Analiese brought up. “I didn’t like her too much, but I didn’t hate her or anything. I just thought she was a little weird.”
“She was actually a good friend of mine,” Jenny said expressively.
“She was okay. A little annoying, but she was actually pretty fun,” I shrugged. Then I smirked. “Jessie hated her.”
“You guys never saw her when she was very angry,” Dalton smirked.
The three of us looked at him. “What do you mean?” I asked. “You mean when she lost her temper?”
Dalton started laughing. “Yeah! You never saw her mad. You guys think you’ve seen Danielle mad, I can do it.”
“Yeah, I think you can do it to anyone, Dalton,” Jenny said.
“No, Kenneth can do it to anyone,” I brought up.
Analiese frowned at me. “Nikki, I think we’ve all seen you lose your temper to when you’re truly mad. We’ve all probably seen it before.”
“Has Gabriel seen it before?” Dalton asked.
I raised my eyebrows. “Yep. He sure has. And so has Sam.”
Mrs. Lockard suddenly appeared at our table. “Nikki, you and the rest of your table need to stop talking and get to work!”
The entire class was chatting, and she tells my table to shut up. This was typical Mrs. Lockard.
“Well, we were talking about Danielle, have you heard what happened to her?” I said to her, smirking.
“I know, I heard about Danielle, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing your work!” She said in an impatient voice, though whenever she sounded that way, she was always just trying to be friendly with us.
“But we miss Danielle!” Jenny smiled.
“Oh yeah? Get to work! Don’t speak!”
“I didn’t bring a photo today,” Dalton said, giving Mrs. Lockard a sideways smile.
“What?!” Mrs. Lockard snapped, and then narrowed her eyes. “You better bring it tomorrow, mister! Until then, you’ve got absolutely nothing to do! Go find a piece of construction picture and draw me a picture, and I better like it!”
As she left, Dalton turned to me, smirking. “I really don’t feel like drawing right now.”
“Me neither,” I said. Our whole table chatted until the end of the period, messing around with Dalton, and Mrs. Lockard yelled at the whole class to be quiet every once in a while.
Finally, by the end of the day, the bell rang to go home at the end of sixth period.
“I’ve got detention in Ms. Fletcher’s,” I said loudly to Jessie, rolling my eyes.
Nate turned to me. “Were you chewing gum again?” He smiled, sounding teasingly.
“Yep. And she didn’t like the way I dressed the other day, but yeah, it’s mostly just the gum.”
Jessie stomped her foot and rolled her eyes. “Ugh! You were going to walk with me and James today!”
I gave her a tired look. “I’m sorry. Ms. Fletcher wasn’t nice enough this time to let me choose when I wanted my detention.”
I headed to the door and walked to Ms. Fletcher’s class. I heard running behind me and all the chatting students passing by. Dalton was at my side all of a sudden.
“Hey, you got detention in Ms. Fletcher’s? I do too! I didn’t do my homework the other night, or get my missing assignment slip signed,” he said.
I smirked. “Ms. Fletcher just doesn’t like me. Even when I don’t chew gum, dress the wrong way, or do anything against the rule, she still acts all sarcastic with me and treats me like I don’t know anything in IB.”
Dalton gave me a naughty smile. “Maybe it’s ‘cause you act like that towards her? You always shrug her off whenever she asks you something, or give her a ‘whatever’ response or tone.”
I met his gaze, naughtily smiling back. “Yeah. But I only sound like that whenever she sounds all retarded to me, and sarcastic, or whatever.” Then, I noticed I was looking right at his naughty smile. I loved his expressions, and I was crazily in love with whatever he did, and I quickly turned away before I found myself staring at him for too long.
When we came to Ms. Fletcher’s I wasn’t able to work with Dalton as much, for Ms. Fletcher made him clean up different items and she made me clean the animals’ cages. I did look over my shoulder every once in a while to watch him walk around back and forth for more supplies.
When it was 4:30, Ms. Fletcher spoke with us before we left. “There’s some work to be done in the cafeteria, and you will be able to earn community service hours for it. Would you like to help out? We’ll be designing the multi with party decorations, so there would be a dance for the non-IB students.”
“Uh, no. I have to go home and help my mom with something. I have to go right now,” Dalton said quickly and hastily. I looked at him, and he had his right arm clutching his left arm and his eyes were wide with urgency.
“Oh, you sure you don’t want to get some community service hours? You can earn three hours for this, it ends at eight,” said Ms. Fletcher encouragingly.
“No, I have to go home right now,” Dalton replied. His right arm gripped his left arm even tighter, and I saw him lick the back of his front teeth.
“Oh, okay,” Ms. Fletcher replied in a tone that sounded like she knew something was up. “Wait here. Let me mark you off first.”
As soon as she walked away, Dalton glared after her. “Why do I have to wait here for that?” He muttered grumpily. I saw him blink impatiently and turn around, licking the back of his front teeth more rapidly now.
I widened my eyes. I think he was getting thirsty for blood, that’s why he wanted to leave. I would’ve backed away from him, but I couldn’t help admiring how cute it looked like when he was impatient and worried. I saw him bite his tongue and kick himself in the shin.
“Um, you okay?” I couldn’t help asking.
“I’m fine,” he turned, but not all the way to meet my gaze. “I just really need to get home now.”
“Alright!” Ms. Fletcher was back. “I marked both of you off. Dalton, you may leave, and next time, you do your homework when you have some, and Nikki, come with me to the multipurpose room.”
Dalton immediately turned and left, but I caught him roll his eyes before he turned.
I turned back to look at Ms. Fletcher, and saw her narrowing her eyes after Dalton, then told me to come with her.
In the multipurpose room, I saw teachers and students helping put up ribbons, clean up certain places, and saw that Jessie, Ashton, Jeremy, and James were there.
“Okay, why don’t you go join Jessie and help them clean up the stains in the back corners?” Ms. Fletcher pointed to them back at the corners.
I nodded and made my way to them.
“Nikki!” Jessie greeted.
“Ew! It’s Nikki!” Jeremy scoffed, making a face at me.
“Ew! It’s Jeremy!” I said in a more rude voice.
We all chatted and cleaned for the rest of the hour, and then we just decorated, then hung around when there was nothing else to do.
When it was finally eight, we had to leave, and we headed out of the room, talking as we walked towards the exit.
“Hey, wait. I gotta go to the bathroom,” I said before we left entirely.
Jeremy turned. “Aw, great. We have to wait for you now? Go in the bushes.”
“Shut up. Someone come with me. I’m not going back by myself.”
James snickered. “The school gets pretty creepy at night.”
Ashton smirked. “Yeah, I’ll come with you, Nikki.”
“Okay then,” I shrugged, smiling.
“Shut up! I’ll go! Hurry up!” Jessie said, and started walking back. I ran after her.
We got back to the bathrooms closest to the front of the school, and Jessie stood to the right of the girls’ bathroom, leaning on the wall. “Alright, go. I’ll wait here.”
I grimaced and just hurried in the bathroom.
When I was finished, I slowly walked over to the sink. I looked around. It was clean this time, no trace of blood anywhere since Dalton threw up, and I looked at myself in the mirror, scaring myself by imagining a scary vampire in a black cape right behind my side, staring at me in the mirror. I gasped and just shook my head and washed my hands.
I stepped out the bathroom. “Okay, Jessie, let’s go. I’m ready,” I said in a bored voice. There was no response. I looked to my left where Jessie had been waiting, and no one was there. I winced. “Okay, Jessie, this isn’t funny. You know I’m not scared of the dark, and if you’re planning on jumping out and surprising me, it’s not going to work since I see it coming. And that doesn’t scare me.”
I started walking around. “Jessie?” I called. I stopped walking when I found myself standing in front of room C9, Mrs. Palmer’s class. Suddenly, the door to Mrs. Palmer’s class started shaking violently, and I whipped around, wincing at the shaking door. It scared me, as it shook so violently, and stopped. The classroom was completely dark, of course. But I crept towards it, and opened the door. To my surprise, it was actually unlocked. I turned on the lights, and then the door shut behind. I glanced at the door, then turned……..and screamed. In front of the overhead where Mrs. Palmer sat, was the body of a teacher, Mrs. Yoselinda, a blonde math teacher, a non-IB teacher. She had her eyes open, and she was dead, with blood stained over her neck and some splattered on her face. There was a small pool of blood under her neck and head. I cupped my hands around my mouth, gasping in horror. I could about six holes in her bloody neck, as if she had been bitten into. Vampire. That was the first word to come to my head as I noticed the holes. Dalton. That was the second word to come to my head, though I couldn’t bring myself to fully believe this was his doing, no matter how hungry he was earlier.
I turned to rush out of the classroom, but suddenly, the lights turned off, the room completely dark, and I was suddenly whacked in the face, knocked over to my side on the floor. I screamed as a figure suddenly leaped on top of me, and covered my mouth as I started to scream and struggle. I felt that there were rubber gloves on the hand that covered my mouth, and they were wet. The figure leaned closer to me, I screamed a muffled scream as I felt its breath by my neck, knowing I was next to be bitten by a vampire. My only thought was that, if this was Dalton, I was glad to have been bitten by him. That he could actually taste my blood.
Suddenly, there was a bang at the door, and there was rattling at the sound of keys turning. The figure suddenly leaped off of me, and I could breathe again, feeling the wetness around my mouth from where the figure had covered. The lights suddenly turned on and a wagon of cleaning materials came in, pushed by a short, Spanish lady. She took no notice of me, she had turned to the right as soon as she came in. I shot up and crept out, before she noticed me and the body, and wouldn’t understand what I was trying to explain to her. I ran out of the classroom, and ran towards the exit, and turned right to head home, and bumped into someone, the both of us grunting and stumbling back.
“What the heck!” A scratchy voice yelled.
“Jeremy?” I narrowed my eyes and saw him, Ashton, James…..and Jessie.
“Hey, finally! What took you?” Jeremy asked.
“Jessie!” I shouted. “I was looking for you! Where the heck were you?”
Jessie was staring at me, narrowing her eyes. Then they widened and she had a look of horror on her face. “Oh my gosh, Nikki! Is that blood on your face?”
Jeremy butted his face closer. “Oh, yeah! Around your mouth! There’s like, sticky red stuff around it!” Then he paused, then gasped, smiling cleverly. “You’ve been sucking some blood, vampire?”
I frowned, nudging him. “Shut up!” Then, in a quieter voice, I hissed, “No! You wouldn’t believe what took me long! I was looking for Jessie, and saw Mrs. Palmer’s door shaking hard, so I came inside since it wasn’t locked, and turned on the lights. I found Mrs. Yoselinda’s dead body, her neck covered in blood, and she was dead.”
Jessie, James, and Ashton gasped.
“Then the lights turned off, and some figure leaped on me, and I probably would’ve been killed as well, if the janitor hadn’t come in the class, making him hide before she saw him. I left as soon as I can, before she saw me also.”
“No, you seriously found Mrs. Yoselinda dead?” Jessie hissed.
“You sure you ain’t covering up why you really have blood around your mouth?” Jeremy said, smiling naughtily.
I wiped my hand on my mouth, and wiped it across Jeremy’s arm. He yelled and flinched. “No, I’m not making up any B.S., just go back to Mrs. Palmer’s class, and I bet you’ll hear the janitor lady screaming over Mrs. Yoselinda’s dead body by now.”
“Okay, whatever. We already believe you, Nikki,” gasped Ashton.
“Gee, I believe her. Now the school could be haunted,” said James. “Maybe we should get outta here right now before anything else happens.”
We started walking home together.
“No, we’ll hear about that tomorrow morning,” said Ashton.
“Hey, Jessie, where in the heck were you anyway? After I got out of the bathroom?” I asked.
“Oh, I was waiting there, until I got scared outta my pants,” she said. “I was just standing there until all of a sudden, I saw this dark figure coming towards me. I mean, seriously! This figure was creepy! I couldn’t see his face, but I saw that he was wearing a hood, and had a cape wrapped around him, and he was facing me, walking towards me! I was so scared, ‘cause he had this weird way of walking, and he was stomping hard, and in rhythm, and he was facing me the whole time. I couldn’t even see his face, so I got so scared, I just turned around and walked quickly away, acting like I was just leaving.”
“He could be the same figure Nikki saw in the room,” Ashton said.
“He probably is,” I shuddered. “Only now, I’m gonna have nightmares.”
“Ugh! So am I!” Jessie complained. “I wonder who that jerk was! If he’s in IB or not!”
“Well, obviously, he’s a vampire. He tried to bite me, so yeah,” I said.
“Darn, so they are real,” Jeremy laughed. “I never really believed in stuff like that. I probably should see it for myself.”
“Are you crazy?! No way we’re going to find that creepy figure!” Jessie snapped, shuddering.
“I wonder why he didn’t chase right after you when you walked away,” said James. “If he was a thirsty vampire, heading towards you, he would’ve chased right after you when he had the chance.”
“Oh! When I walked away, some teacher just walked pass me. She said hi to me, but I was too scared to answer, so I didn’t know who it was.”
I groaned. “OMG, Mrs. Yoselinda.”
“Of course. She appeared right when you left, so the vampire just followed her,” said Ashton.
Jeremy started laughing. “I wonder if one of us will die tomorrow. It could be Ashton!” He pointed at Ashton.
Ashton gave him a bored look. “Jeremy, shut up, seriously.”
“Guys, I’ll see you tomorrow. My house is here,” I said as I noticed my house right there.
“Kay, see you Nikki,” said Jessie.
“Be safe!” Jeremy called teasingly.
“Yeah, you too!” I called back in a rough voice, and got in my house.
I hurried upstairs. My parents were in their room, watching TV, while Edward was downstairs, watching TV in the living room.
I got on the computer and logged into my Facebook account. Several people were online, Gabriel, Sam, Lewis, Jessica, and Jenny, as well as Dalton. Okay, that still didn’t mean he couldn’t have been the vampire. He could’ve gotten home faster than I did, since vampires travel faster, and just gotten on Facebook quicker before I did. I decided to just talk to Gabriel and tell him all about it.
In the middle of our chatting, a chatbox suddenly popped up from Dalton. I was actually excited to hear from him. I opened it up.
“Hey, so how was the boring community service thing?”
I responded, “It was fine. Jess, ash, james, and Jeremy were there.”
Then, after I sent that to him, I decided to dare. I told him all about the dead body and the vampire figure.
There was a moment before his next response. “Wow, scary. So a teacher’s really dead? We’re so gonna hear bout that tomorrow morning. You really believe in vampires now?”
“Um, probably. I was nearly bitten and killed by one. If you look at my mouth, I’ve got blood smeared around it from the guy’s hands covering me. I better go and wash it up before my family sees it. brb.”
I left to go wash up, and as I finally saw myself for the first time in the mirror, I gasped and nearly screamed as I saw the blood smeared all around my mouth. I washed up until it was completely gone. I spit out all the time, making sure I didn’t swallow a single speck of blood, then made sure there was no trace of blood around the sink before I left.
When I got back on the computer, there was a chatbox from Jeremy. I smirked and opened it.
“So, anyone attack you yet?”
I responded, “Yeah. I’m like being smashed against the window and being bitten in the neck. I’m being sucked up and bitten so badly, heeeeellllppppp.”
“Haha, I see a shadow right outside my window right now!”
After a few minutes of chatting, it was already 10:47pm.
“I’m getting tired. Going to bed.” I sent to Jeremy.
“Okay. nighty night. Don’t let the vampires bite.”
I shut down the computer. I took a shower, and felt so in secure in the bathroom right now. I could imagine the figure right behind me, watching me in the mirrors.
As I lay in bed, I thought about the vampire figure. I just couldn’t imagine that being Dalton. The way he had pushed me with force, and leaped in such a way…..I didn’t know how to explain it to myself even, but I just couldn’t imagine that being Dalton. But it was someone. And it existed. It was still out there, and could even be in our very own class, closer to us than we thought.

I decided not to tell my parents about the whole thing last night….yet. I didn’t want them butting in and asking all their questions and start worrying about me, so I decided I will tell them sometime, just not yet.
It was a Friday, the last day of the week. And we get some homework on Friday sometimes, though not as much. Sometimes we didn’t get any homework at all.
After school, I walked with Jessie to the park across the street. We couldn’t help discussing last night again. I wondered whether I should tell Jessie what I knew, about Dalton, but I wouldn’t know if she would believe it. I decided to play it this way.
“You know what’s weird?” I suddenly said. “Dalton’s been wearing these black gloves lately, and the guy last night had gloves on when he jumped on me.”
Jessie shrugged. “So? It could’ve been anyone with gloves on. And it so couldn’t have been Dalton, he probably wouldn’t have worn those gloves when he attacked you if he knew you knew he had gloves.”
I paused for a minute as soon as we reached the benches to the park. I looked in the sky. It was still cloudy, it’s been cloudy for days and days in a row, so it hasn’t been sunny enough to see how Dalton would react in the sunlight.
“Yeah, but……okay. Promise me you won’t think me crazy for this,” I gave Jessie a serious gaze.
She looked back at me with a lazy smile. “I think you’re crazy already. Ever since I met you, I always thought you were crazy.”
“Well, whatever. Just don’t think I’ve gone too far or anything. But the other day in P.E., when Dalton was feeling all sick, I found him in the girls’ bathroom, and you won’t believe what happened to him.” So I explained him coughing up blood and throwing himself against the wall, yelling like he was in great pain and about to die. Then I told how white he’s been looking ever since, and that he’s been wearing gloves, maybe so no one could accidently touch him and feel how cold his hands are. I even mentioned how I saw some sharp teeth behind those braces of his.
Jessie was listening to me intently, nodding and narrowing her eyes as I explained. “Hmm,” she said as I finished. Then she looked away, and I caught a smile on her face.
I groaned out loud. “You don’t believe me, don’t you? Well, fine, I didn’t say you had to. I just wanted to let you know, that’s all.”
“No! It’s just…..” Jessie was laughing. “It’s just….I could imagine Dalton yelling in pain, and coughing up blood and everything, it’s just so hysterical and….funny! I wish I were there to see him in pain and complain, and throw up and stuff! And you said he did this in the girls’ bathroom?”
I nodded, giving her a tired expression.
“OMG! I so wish I could see that!” Jessie suddenly stopped laughing. “But Nikki, yeah, you’re right. I really don’t believe he is a vampire, sorry. But I do believe what you said happened to him!”
I rolled my eyes, smirking. Then, I realized I hadn’t told her about Danielle yet, that’s why she wasn’t so convinced. “Hey, but I can tell you one thing. I know what happened to Danielle. She wasn’t hit by a car.”
Jessie looked at me. “What? How do you know?”
“Are you going to believe me? I don’t want to be like those characters in the stories that tell people stuff, but no one believes the hell what they say.”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever. Of course I’ll believe you. Just tell what happened to her.”
“Okay, but don’t tell anyone yet,” I spoke in a lower voice, explaining to her what I saw with Dalton and Danielle after school, how she had kissed him, and he ended up sucking the blood out of her.
Jessie looked at me in disgust, not saying anything.
“Do you believe me, or not? I swear, I’m not making this up, I almost thought I was imagining things when I saw it, until he actually came up to me with a stain on his shoulder.”
Jessie still had a look of disgust on her face, as she shook her head. “I don’t know,” she replied hastily. “I don’t know whether I believe that. But I think I’m gonna keep an eye on Dalton now, watch him do anything weird. I still don’t believe in vampires, so I don’t exactly believe he could really be one.”
I sighed. “Just look behind his braces. You’ll catch some sharp fangs if you look closely.”
“Ew! Why would I wanna look closely there? Whatever, I don’t know how you got that idea, Nikki, but since I also don’t know why you would get an idea like that, I guess I’ll half-believe you, but I still don’t believe in vampires, and I absolutely don’t believe an “it” like Dalton could actually be dangerous in that way.”
I gave her a sideways look. “Yeah. But I’ve been keeping an eye on him, lately, and he has been doing some strange things. I think he was getting thirsty for blood the other day in detention.”
“What did he do? Eat Ms. Fletcher?” Laughed Jessie.
“Nah, he left right away. He wouldn’t look at me or Ms. Fletcher. He just left like someone would when they had to go to the bathroom in an emergency,” I smiled at the thought, in love again by his expressions and actions.
“Eh, I’ve been keeping an eye on Lewis, and he is someone worth keeping an eye on,” Jessie sighed happily.
I winced, smiling. “He’s got weird hair.”
“I know! But that’s part of what makes him look hot!”
“If you’ve been paying attention to him, have you noticed how white he is?” I laughed.
“Oh, yeah. He’s very white. But he’s also soft-talking and cool. He’s a little quiet, but when you’re talking to him, he’s got cool feelings, and starts cool conversations, and can relate to everyone! Even Analiese.”
I laughed. “Anyone can relate to Analiese, actually.” She was very opinionated and voiced out her feelings so much, but because she always wanting to do the right thing, rather than Jessie, who was opinionated and voiced out her feelings because she was very self-centered. That was why the both of them didn’t really get along.
“No, seriously, Nikki,” said Jessie. “If you talk to Lewis, he can really relate to you. And I mean especially you, Nikki. You’ll probably get him to express his angry feelings when he’s around you.”
I grimaced at her. We continued talking about other things going on in school, how Jenny was actually going to ask out Lewis, and how Jeremy was finally going to choose his girlfriend. In the midst of our gossip, I still thought of Dalton, and what he could be doing right now, and in the future.

One day, at school, during science, we did notes on our new subject, for we had just taken the test last week, and now we were starting a new subject we were taking notes on. I shifted my eyes to look at Dalton’s hands, and they still had the same black gloves on, except this time, he finally wore a short-sleeve shirt, for he had been wearing long sleeves for a long time since I saw him in the bathroom.
I knew the vampire who had attacked me had gloves that felt like rubber, like leather. Dalton’s weren’t leather. They were fabric.
“Hey, why do you wear gloves everyday now?” I finally asked.
He turned to me with an expression I couldn’t read. “’Cause they’re awesome, that’s why. You seem to be wearing your short-sleeve sweater everyday ever since the beginning of school.”
I shrugged. “I’ve never not worn this to school, probably. Hey, it’s sunny today!” I just noticed out the window that the sky was finally bright and blue, and I hadn’t woken up to a chilly morning finally.
Dalton turned to the window then looked down. He muttered a cuss word. “I hate sunny days.”
I laughed. “That’s emo. You like the dark days. I do too, actually.”
Dalton said nothing, but stared at Ms. Fletcher as she chatted about the notes, and his expression seemed annoyed and worried. I decided not to say anything more.
Suddenly, there was a vibrating in my backpack. I widened my eyes and realized I had forgotten to turn off your phone.
Dalton gasped, smiling naughtily at my backpack. “Oooh, Nikki.”
“Shush!” I hissed, smiling, grabbing my phone, opening it then closing it to stop the vibrating. For once, Ms. Fletcher didn’t catch me yet.
I sighed and then looked around, scared to see if anyone had seen me. Suddenly, I noticed Lewis texting on his phone, texting with his gloves on. His gloves were their usual purple- and leather. I frowned. I narrowed my eyes and looked closer, to see if there was any sign of blood stained. I couldn’t find even a light trace, but the gloves were too dark and he was too far away to see closely.
When I made my way to art, I was too deep in thought to walk with anybody. I walked slowly, even though art class was just a few yards next door. As soon as all the students passed me, I noticed slow footsteps coming up to my side. I looked to my left and caught Lewis walking at my pace, eying me from the corner of his eye. He had his eyes narrowed, and a few strands of hair covering over, but I could see the way he was eying me. He looked away as soon as he noticed me looking at him.
I looked away, wincing, back to my thoughts again.
“Hey, you think Dalton killed Mrs. Yoselinda the other day?” Lewis scared me with his deep voice suddenly right next to me.
I turned to him. “Not really. I probably should, but I just couldn’t imagine him doing that.”
“Well, that’s not very likely. Vampires are incredibly stronger than you think. And I can’t say myself that I don’t think it could’ve been him. ‘Cause, I did let him borrow my gloves on Friday to have for the weekend, and when I got them back, they were wrinkled, as if he had put them in the washer or something. As if to hide something on them.”
I met Lewis’s gaze, and he was looking at me with serious, concerned eyes. “Isn’t he your best friend? Shouldn’t you not be trying to get me blaming things on him, just because I know he’s a vampire?”
Lewis chuckled. “I’m not Dalton’s best friend. He just follows me around ‘cause he thinks I’m cool. I just play along. I just think he’s an untrustworthy person just trying to get attention. He tells me he cheats off of math tests since they’re the easiest to cheat off of.”
I gave him a sassy look. “Oh. And you don’t? ‘Cause you’re too smarty?”
Lewis smiled at me, still narrowing his eyes. “I’m too smart to cheat.”
When we entered art, Dalton was talking with Jenny.
“You wanna ask out Lewis?” He asked rudely, smiling naughtily.
Jenny gave him a sideways look. “Maybe. Gotta problem with that?”
“No,” he laughed. “It’s just that, he’s probably too attached to Jessica.”
“Oh, no, I talked to Jessica the other day. She says she has no interest in Lewis,” Jenny replied simply.
“What the heck?” Dalton’s eyes widened.
I sat down in my seat. “Jessica doesn’t like Lewis?” I said in a bored voice.
Jenny shook her head, smirking. “She told me she likes someone else, but she doesn’t want me to tell. So she says she’ll be fine with me asking out Lewis.”
“When will you ask him out?” Analiese asked.
“At lunch today,” she winked.
Dalton rolled his eyes, giving a slight sideways smile as he shook his head, looking away from Jenny. “Totally messed.”
“Why?” Analiese winced.
“I so don’t want Jenny to be Lewis’s girlfriend!” Dalton said out loud, smiling naughtily.
Jenny grimaced and lightly punched him on the shoulder. “Oh, shut up! I never liked you being Danielle’s boyfriend.”
“And Jenny has no interest in hanging out with Lewis’s friends when she does ask him out,” I told him. “She thinks they’re all weird.” I winked at her.
“They are weird,” Dalton shook his head, looking down.
“Then why do you hang out with them?” I questioned.
“’Cause,” was all he answered.
“’Cause they’re with Lewis?” Said Analiese.
Dalton frowned at her. “No,” he said indignantly.
“Alright! IB freshmen, quiet, don’t speak! Everybody pay attention now!” Mrs. Lockard demanded. She explained what we were to do with our sketch of our countries. We were to paint over it in light watercolors before the thick paint came on, for she wanted us to have a preview of what our drawings would look like after being painted.
When it was P.E., we changed noisily in the locker room- as usual. Jessie was complaining about the smell of the girls’ locker room.
“Ugh! This place stinks today! Did the janitor take the dead teacher’s body and dump it here? Or did someone else get murdered here?” Jessie groaned.
I looked at her with widened eyes. “Omigosh, the boys’ locker room still smells a million times worse than here! Seriously!”
“You’ve been in there before?”
Jenny turned from trying to unlock her locker. “Yeah, Nikki and I had to go in there once, to help Mr. Albrecht with something, and it reeked. It smelled so bad in there.” I remember going in there on a normal day, to help the P.E. teachers with the loaners.
When we were in our P.E. clothes, we sat down and chatted noisily on our numbers. Suddenly, Mr. Albrecht blew his whistle as he appeared from the boys’ locker room with Mr. McDaniels behind him.
“Dalton!” He yelled in his strict, angry voice. The group of students quieted down a little, but some were still talking. “Dalton!” He yelled louder, sounding angry.
The classes became quiet as Dalton appeared from all the way down to the last set of numbers, with the other class that had Tess, Tesseline, and Joshua. Where it was shady.
“Not even in the right class!” Muttered Mr. Albrecht loudly. As soon as Dalton stood in front of Mr. Albrecht, there was no question that he was in trouble. Mr. Albrecht had his sunglasses on, but it was obvious he was mad, and even Mr. McDaniels, who was actually a nice, easygoing, fun guy, looked angry.
“There was another guy,” he muttered to Mr. Albrecht. “Where’s Nate?”
“Nate?” Dalton winced.
“Nate!” Mr. Albrecht called to the classes. Nate appeared and came over to join them.
“Where’s the other one? There was one more,” Mr. Albrecht snapped at both of them.
“Oh, William,” Dalton muttered. He turned and looked at William, who sat with me, messing around with me and Jenny. He turned and got up to join them.
“Okay, first of all, what were you thinking, switching the locks all over to different lockers?!” Mr. Albrecht was practically yelling at them.
“We weren’t doing that-” Nate started to object, confused.
“No! I saw you! The three of you were switching the locks-” He stopped and turned to Mrs. Eckman. “Sorry, we really shouldn’t be keeping them. Why don’t you take them to the upper fields? I’m gonna be taking these guys to the office after talking with them.” He started leading them inside the boys’ locker room.
Mrs. Eckman nodded, then turned to us with a strict look through those sunglasses. “Alright, and just to let you know, I’m very ticked off right now with what had just happened. Those guys were taking the locks and switching them to different locks. We already explained before, that if we ever catch anyone doing things like that, there’s gonna be harsh consequences.” She was explaining through a strict, angry cracked voice.
Mrs. Carol came over to her side, looking mad as well. “Right. And those boys are going to have to do more than just have their parents called and get detention. Walk up to the basketball court and sit in roll call order.”
The classes got up and headed to the upper fields where the basketball court was, chatting quietly about what had happened.
Jessie was giggling as she walked with me, Ashton, and Lewis.
“Nate seriously was like, ‘oh, we didn’t do it,’ and they seriously saw them!” She laughed.
Ashton winced. “Eh, I’ve known Nate for a long time. I really don’t think he would do that.”
“Yeah,” Jeremy agreed. “Dalton would, though!”
“Yeah, and so would William,” I put in. “William’s that kind of person, he would do it to mess around.” William was polite and laid back around everyone, including his friends, but he really was the kind of person to get carried away with messing around and getting into trouble.
“Yeah, William,” Lewis said quietly. Then he looked up. “I saw them. I saw exactly what happened. William was the one who actually switched everything around. Nate really didn’t do anything.” Lewis sounded serious.
“You saw them?” I said to him.
He nodded, meeting my gaze seriously. “William switched it. Nate really wasn’t doing anything.”
“What about Dalton?” I asked.
“Dalton was laughing and telling William to switch everything around, he was the one to first notice the lockers still open with their locks. Nate was with him, but Dalton was the one who told William to switch everything around. I’m sure he was switching them himself, but William was the only one I saw. I wasn’t exactly standing there, watching them the whole time.”
“Why don’t you tell ‘em that?” Ashton suggested.
Lewis shrugged. “’Cause. They all have the right to get in trouble, probably.”
“But you said not Nate,” said Jeremy.
We were already at the basketball courts, and we ran to sit in our roll call orders as Mrs. Eckman blew her whistle.
“Alright,” she announced grumpily. “Mr. Albrecht wants to see a couple more people he thinks were also part of the little act. He wants to see Joshua, Edward, and Lewis.”
I looked at Jessie across from me and winced. I watched as Edward, Joshua, and Lewis stood up, and walked over to Mrs. Eckman, Joshua and Edward with confused expressions, and I saw Joshua muttering to Edward with his face narrowed with naughtiness and confusion, but Lewis had a straight face, with his normal observant look.
“Go into your locker room and find Mr. Albrecht,” Mrs. Eckman said snappishly.
They turned to leave, and Edward turned around, wincing through his long dark hair. “We didn’t do anything at all, though.” He said quietly.
“Don’t object us, just go!” Mrs. Carol snapped.
Edward just whipped his head away, following the others. A few students giggled and started murmuring.
I watched as the three of them walked together down the hill. I heard them talking to each other quietly, and could hear Joshua’s loud snickering. I stared at them, all three of them had long hair, I noticed, as I flashed an annoyed glare at Joshua, and they were all quite tall, though Lewis was the tallest of all. I saw Lewis raise his head and look back before disappearing behind the fence. I was sure he looking at me, though.
“Hey, what’s with them? What the heck do they have to do with that crap?” Jenny muttered behind me.
I shrugged, still staring down the hill. “I’ll ask Edward at home. I doubt they’ll be at lunch if they get in trouble.”
P.E. was just a normal day, we played soccer if we joined soccer, and basketball if we joined basketball. Jessie, Ashton, James, Jeremy and I were a little distracted, talking to each other about the locker room thing, but we still ended up with a tie like usual.
In history, Dalton wasn’t there. I stared at his empty seat, missing him already. In front of him, there was no sign of Sam either. I giggled at Jessie, who was complaining to the table behind her about how she was stuck with Sam was at her table.
I looked behind and noticed there was no William. William turned around to talk to me all the time, now I had nothing but my table to talk to. I glanced at Jessica. She sat there, her chin on her fist, looking bored.
“Why were Lewis, Edward, and Joshua there? Are they in trouble to?” I said to Jessica, wincing.
Jessica looked at me and shrugged. “I think it’s ‘cause they saw the whole thing and were probably part of it. Lewis saw it, anyway.”
Ashton was shaking his head. “I don’t believe anyone but Dalton and William did it.”
“And Anthony,” Jessica brought up. “Anthony was with them, and when P.E. was over, they called him in.”
I looked in front of me and noticed Anthony hadn’t come in his seat yet.
Ashton paused for a moment, and then shook his head, frowning. “Nah, I don’t think he would do that either. He’s crazy, but he’s not that kind of a troublemaker.”
“Alright, quiet down, please,” Mrs. Palmer raised her voice. The class quieted down and turned to face her. “Alright, before we get started, I’d like to talk about Mrs. Yoselinda, who was unfortunately murdered the last few days.”
The class suddenly groaned as they remembered, and started chatting to each other about the incident.
“Why is she bringing this up all of a sudden?” I heard Jessica mutter grumpily. She was resting her head on the palm of her hand, and she was streaking her long purple hair.
“This incident happened in my class,” Mrs. Palmer said seriously, “and I’ve been too scared and nervous about it to talk about what had happened. But now, I want to ask if anyone has seen this strange vampire lately. Like, has anyone seen anymore strange things going on around them anywhere? Has he or she struck anyone around your neighborhood? Is everyone you know still alive?”
“So far,” said Gabriel out loud. The class murmured in agreement.
As Mrs. Palmer went on talking, Jessica tapped my desk.
“Nikki. You’re going out with Dalton, right?” She whispered.
I swung my head to her, giving her a look of surprise and disgust. “What?!” But at the same time, my heart pounded excitedly.
Jessica winced. “I thought he was going to ask you out during passing period to P.E. - darn it! He was probably too distracted trying to stay away from the sun! Okay, he told me and Lewis before school this morning, that he was going to ask you out since he likes you so much, it’s bugging him.”
“Bugging him how?” I didn’t know whether Jessica knew he was a vampire, for all I knew, I was the only one, and I guess Lewis knew as well. But if Dalton liked me, I wondered if that would make a difference in his thirst for my blood.
Jessica shrugged. “I dunno. He said he was finally going to ask you out so he wouldn’t feel all lightheaded and weird around you anymore. So he didn’t ask you out yet?”
I was frowning in confusion, and slowly shook my head. “Nooo, but you can tell him I would say yes.”
Ashton turned, with a sideways look on his face. “Wow. Seriously! You’d actually say yes?” He whispered.
Jessica grimaced and reached out to give him a quick swat on the arm.
I looked at him with a sassy expression. “Yeah. Why? I can talk with Gabriel about it.”
Ashton suddenly laughed quietly. “No! It’s just that… actually wanna accept Dalton. Why? He’s so not worth it.”
“Oh, shut up, Ashton!”Hissed Jessica. “You’re acting like a girl. She can go out with him if she wants to!”
Ashton winced with a half-smile, throwing his hands in the air. “Who wants to go out with him? Except for crazy Danielle, who didn’t have the right mind for guys.”
“No! Just shut up, Ashton, okay? I’ll think about it. I don’t wanna just dump Gabriel.” I turned to Jessica with a frustrated look. “Why does Dalton wanna ask me out if he knows I’m with Gabriel already?”
Jessica was suddenly quiet, and she just stared at me for a second, and then shrugged. “I dunno, ask him.”
I stared at her, then looked away as a sudden dreadful thought came to me. Could Dalton really plan to……..kill Gabriel? No, he couldn’t……he wouldn’t have mentioned asking me out yet if Gabriel was even still alive- he wouldn’t have even mentioned it.
I was trying hard to focus on what to say to Dalton later on, but the thought that he actually was going to ask me out just poked at me like a woodpecker. I was so excited, I have never been so in love with him more, even after he’d just messed with the lockers. I suddenly knew it could finally be my chance to be his girlfriend since Danielle was gone, except that I was still with Gabriel……and I was happy. Of course I was happy! I really had to give myself a good smack in the face that it was best to stay with Gabriel, and that Dalton would so not be a better person for me.
I wished Dalton were here now, so I could stare at him all period, without him noticing since he didn’t sit next to me in this class. I sighed and thought about how it would be like to be his girlfriend. Would I really be safe? He was a vampire, I reminded myself, and he possibly could’ve been the one to kill the teacher, I wasn’t sure at all……but I did know he killed Danielle. He had sucked the blood of Danielle, and she was his girlfriend. I suddenly knew he could do the same to me if he got thirsty. I looked up and suddenly wondered. I really did want to be with him, yet, I was scared about what he would do, what he will do.
And plus, not to mention how I would be slightly viewed differently by everyone. I was always considered to be popular, slutty, and crazy with all my friends, and even considered mean by the people who didn’t know me. Dalton, he was known to be popular and naughty and mean, though he was annoying to certain people. If I went out with him, those things probably wouldn’t change very much, I think.
I still didn’t know what to say know. I wondered for the rest of the period.

As soon as the bell rang for lunch, I walked alone again, too deep in thought. I passed the P.E. area as I slowly made my way to lunch, and stared across towards it. I stopped, then looked around me. As soon as a several more students passed by, I turned to walk around the big grass area that blocked my way to the P.E. area, and walked around so I wouldn’t be noticed. I walked passed Ms. Fletcher’s class, and saw her talking to Mrs. Lockard, her back was turned towards me, and Mrs. Lockard didn’t notice me.
I headed to the P.E. area, just to get a peek at what was going on with Dalton and everyone, just to see if they were still there. Then, I stopped, an idea popping in my head. I turned, and saw Jessie in the distance.
“Jessie!” I called before she could pass by me. She noticed me and I signaled her to come over. She gave me a narrowed confused look, and made her way towards me.
“What the heck are you doing here?” She questioned, wincing.
“I was gonna see if Dalton, William, and everyone else were still here,” I said as I continued towards the P.E. area. I was wanting Jessie to come with me since I wanted to tell her, while she and I were away from everyone else, about what Jessica had told me in history. I wasn’t looking forward to her help, but I wanted to tell her anyway. I always told her everything.
We continued to the P.E. area. I saw a group of kids in the distance, two girls and two boys, messing around and laughing loudly behind the wall to the P.E. area.
“No! I dare you to sneak in the locker rooms and steal Mr. Albrecht’s list!” One of the boys said.
“Oh! I know where he keeps his list!” said a guy with a tall Mohawk and dark makeup around his eyes. “Dude, I had to run a mile today, just ‘cause I cheated on the pushups. I’ll steal the list. He keeps a list of students and activities in his desk! I’ll seriously take it!”
“Oh, go then! Go! Give me an A in everything!” Laughed a girl.
The guy peeked behind the wall. “No one’s there. Okay, I’m goin’!” He disappeared behind the wall.
“Hey, I’m comin’ with you!” Called the other boy, running after him.
The other teenagers giggled and started pushing each other away.
“Dude, I’m not stayin’ here!” A girl laughed.
“Hey! Ethan! Richie! We’ll be at the lunch area!” Shouted the other girl and they ran passed us, giggling.
“Ooooh, I’m tellin’,” I muttered. Jessie giggled.
“Wait!” I stopped as we were to the left side of the boys’ locker room. “That stupid punk kid’s there.”
Jessie groaned quietly as we watched the guys, Ethan and Richie, make their way, creeping up to the door to the locker room. It was open. “Ugh! Just scare him away, he’s wasting our time! Let’s just go!”
Suddenly, Ethan and Richie turned and hid behind the wall that was in front of the boys’ locker room. Mr. Albrecht walked out the door, his back turned towards us, and knocked on the door to the girls’ locker room, and then disappeared inside.
I heard talking in the boys’ locker room, and slight footsteps by the door, and saw a few shadows stretch out from the door. Then they left and the voices died away, and there was only one shadow stretched out from the door.
“Who is that?” Jessie leaned closer next to me, narrowing her eyes at the still shadow.
Ethan and Richie appeared from behind the wall, with a naughty smile on his face. He looked strange in makeup around his eyes. He peeked in the door.
“Hey! Is Mr. Albrecht still here?” He called. Suddenly, he screamed and a hand reached out and instantly pulled him in, then reached out and pulled Richie in, and there was agonized yelling and screaming in pain, and hisses and shredding were heard through all that. Jessie and I gasped and took a step back, and let out short screams as a small amount of blood splashed against the wall in front of the locker room.
I dropped to my knees, wanting to cry out. It was happening again. I didn’t know who it was, but it was happening again.
“Ew! Hey, let’s see who it really is!” Jessie hissed, pulling at my arm. I was too weak to get up, but once I finally did, there was sudden silence. The crying stopped, the hissing stopped, and I heard footsteps die away from the locker room.
I gasped as I heard the door from the girls locker room click. Jessie and I hid in front of the wall like Ethan did, and heard Mr. Albrecht’s voice.
“Thank you, Mrs. Carol,” he said. I heard him make his way to the boys’ locker room.
“Hey guys!” His loud yell right behind us startled me. “Get out here! I’m walkin’ ya to lunch.”
There were voices coming closer, and we saw Mr. Albrecht walking with Nate, Anthony, William, and Dalton behind him. He was speaking to them, and they were speaking back, but I could hear what they were saying. I stared at Dalton, narrowing my eyes at his clothes, trying to find any traces of blood. If he had devoured and sucked up Ethan and Richie’s blood like that, he would’ve had traces of it. I found nothing. I even looked at the rest of them before they disappeared behind the wall and found no traces.
“Oh, what the heck!” Jessie’s voice shook as she watched them leave. “Who was that? Was he, like, hiding from all of them, then struck those two non-IBs when no one was looking?”
I was shaking. “I-I don’t know.”
Suddenly, there was a deep voice behind us. “Okay, I will, Mr. McDaniels.” And Lewis appeared from the door. We ran over in front of him.
“Lewis! Where are you going? Where were you?” Jessie called.
“ACP,” he replied deeply as soon as he was in earshot. He stopped as soon as he was with us.
“Where’s Edward and Joshua?” I asked.
“They already left. Dalton, William, Nate, and Anthony were in the locker rooms, helping the P.E. teachers with something for their punishment. But they’re going to be joining ACP tomorrow for P.E.,” he explained.
“ACP?!” Jessie exclaimed. “Why did you get ACP?”
Lewis rolled his eyes. “’Cause Dalton and Nate were coming up with all these different explanations for messing with the locks, and the P.E. teachers were confused, so they decided to give all of us ACP. But Edward, Sam, and I just have ACP today. The rest of them have it the rest of the week.”
ACP was a class where bad students went, to get work done and sit down the whole time, doing nothing. At least, that was all I knew about it. I’ve never been there myself.
“You mad?” I asked in a sassy tone, slightly smiling at the narrowed look he had on his face.
“I’m freakin’ pissed, ‘cause I didn’t do anything,” Lewis replied in a casual voice.
I nodded, sideways smiling. “I have that happen to me all the time.”
Lewis said nothing and murmured something. “I’m gonna find Jessica.” And he left, slowly walking away.
Jessie stared after him, and giggled. “Look how slow he walks!” She pointed to him.
I chuckled slightly, then sighed. I turned to have a peek at the floor by the door to the boys’ locker room, but the door was shut.
“Darn it!” I yelled. I turned and looked at the splash of blood. It wasn’t a big splat, though big enough to make me flinch.
“Ugh!” Jessie turned away. “Who was that? We should’ve told Lewis and asked him!”
I shook my head slowly, my eyes widened.
“What?” Jessie looked at me.
I sighed. “Hey, I wanted to tell you something. You won’t guess what Jessica told me in history.” And I explained to her about what Jessica said about Dalton. When I finished, we were already at the lunch area, and Jessie was grimacing.
“Soooo?” She looked at me encouragingly, her eyebrows raised. “What are you going to say?”
I hesitated, then shrugged. “I don’t really know yet. Especially after what we did with Danielle. And…….I couldn’t be sure who that really was back there.”
Jessie suddenly stomped her foot and started laughing. I looked at her and frowned.
“Shut up, Jessie, you stupid freak,” I gave her a slight push.
Jessie was still laughing. “My gosh! You seriously think you might wanna go out with him?” Then she added more quietly, “And you still believe in what he did with Danielle.”
“Of course, ‘cause I saw it, and I really don’t know what to say to him, since he actually wants to ask me out himself.”
Jessie nudged me. “Nikki? It’s Dalton. You really don’t feel…..rejected towards him?”
I winced at her. “Actually, of course not. Not at all,” I felt strange expressing just part of my feelings about him.
“Why? Hey! You have Gabriel, what the heck? You seriously would trade Gabriel for Dalton?”
“I didn’t say that!” I replied.
“Well, if you know you have Gabriel, you should say no instantly to him! You shouldn’t even have to think about it!” Jessie didn’t sound mad, just surprised and a little humored, but what she had just said hit me like a baseball. I really should reject it at the minute, but I didn’t. I really hated myself.
And I hated myself even more as another thought came to my head. “Hey, you know, they say if you know the truth to anything bad, you should tell on them. Like, I know what really happened to Danielle, and I should tell everyone that, shouldn’t I? Don’t people always say silence is acceptance?”
Jessie shrugged. “I sure don’t want Dalton biting my neck off when I tell on him. But I don’t even believe that, so it’s up to you. What I’m really concerned about, is what you really will say when Dalton asks you! Hey! He’s right there!”
We were in the cafeteria, waiting in line, and she pointed to where Nate, William, Anthony, and Dalton always sat together. Dalton had his back turned towards me, so he didn’t notice me yet.
I then turned to Jessie. “Hey! I have an idea. I’ll stick with Gabriel more often, like, literally always staying by his side. We’ll hold hands during passing period, we’ll stay together for the entire lunch period, and after school, we’ll walk home together. That way, Dalton will have a hard time trying to ask me out when I’m right next to Gabriel, it’s not like he’d wanna explain my relationship with Gabriel, and my relationship with him when Gabriel’s with me.”
“He sits next to you in every class! He’ll get impatient soon, and just ask you during one of the periods, or something. Or he’ll ask for an alone talk,” Jessie exclaimed.
I gave her a sideways look. “I can’t imagine him saying, ‘hey, Nikki. Can I talk to you alone for a minute? Just us two?’ I don’t think he’s likely to do that in front of Gabriel. And, you idiot, don’t forget there’s other people around us besides just me and him. I doubt he’ll wanna say it in front of them.”
“What about science?” Jessie brought up.
I paused, thought for a moment, then said, “Eh, Ms. Fletcher has us paying attention to her the whole period. And when she does give us free time for anything, I’ll chat with Dalton about other things to keep him talking about whatever I bring up before he gets a chance to talk about that.”
Jessie shrugged. “Whatever. I don’t see why you don’t just want to say it in his face that you’re happy with Gabriel and don’t want to go out with him.” Then she gave me an excited expression. “Oh! Or you could stick around Joshua!”
I whipped around and gave her a disgusted look. “What?! I ain’t gonna hang around Joshua, even when-”
“No! If you stick with him more often, Dalton’s gonna sooo be scared to ask you out in front of him! Seriously! Just think about it! And it’s gonna be easier also!”
“Joshua’s not in our class, you idiot,” I grimaced. “And we can’t stick with each other the whole passing period since he has to go to a different class. Plus, I don’t wanna stay with him! Gabriel’s actually my boyfriend, and that’s already easy enough to keep Dalton from asking.”
Jessie rolled her eyes. “Fine. If I were you, I’d do the easy thing and just say no to his face.”
Easy for her to say, I thought.
When we finished lunch, I had been sitting with Gabriel and the usual people I always sit with every day.
Gabriel and I had been chatting so much, my mind had almost been taken off the two kids that were just killed.
“Hey! Nikki!” A loud voice called out. I rolled my eyes. Joshua was coming over. “Hey, d’you have our math homework? I was in ACP.”
“I dunno! Try asking me tomorrow, when I could avoid you better,” I smiled sassily at him.
Joshua banged the table madly. “Ugh! You stupid- please, Nikki? I’ll tell you our homework for science tomorrow.”
“Hey, Joshua, how was ACP?” Gabriel laughed. “Did you get in trouble for the locks?”
Joshua gave him an annoyed look, then played with his earring. “Nah, we didn’t do anything, so we just had ACP for today. It was Dalton and William who did it! I freakin’ saw them, dammit!” He started laughing and looked at me. “Dude! I heard them! Dalton was like, ‘hey Nate, ten people left their lockers open! Dude, switch ‘em!’ And William was all laughing with them, and he started switching the locks with Dalton.”
“What about Anthony?” I asked.
Joshua spit, wincing. “Anthony wasn’t doing anything, what they said about him was B.S., man.”
Gabriel chuckled and looked at me. “Hey, let’s ask them. Dalton’s probably gonna be all lying, saying he didn’t do anything, so let’s see what they’ll say!”
I hesitated, but at least I was going to still be with Gabriel. And I did want to see Dalton express his feelings. “Okay.” I shrugged.
Joshua ran after us and caught up to my side. “No! Dude! The look on Dalton’s face right now, he’s pissed!” He sounded naughtily happy, as usual, then he started laughing and poked my shoulder. “Dude! Dalton was actually crying, man! Seriously!”
“Don’t poke me!” I poked him playfully back, even harder, making him yell.
“He was crying?” Gabriel said excitedly, turning to Joshua.
“Yeah, man! He was- ow! Dammit! Cut it out!” I had poked Joshua on the side this time, like he always did to me, and giggled and ran away as he reached to poke me back. I heard Gabriel laugh at us as I ran into the wall on my side, next to the opening to the cafeteria, and the lady that was standing there blew her whistle before Joshua could reach me.
The three of us gathered together and entered the cafeteria, and saw Ashton, Jeremy, Jenny, James, and Jessie sitting, loudly chatting with Nate, William, Anthony, and Dalton. Lewis and Jessica were there as well. I saw Nate talking with that obnoxious grin on his face as usual, Anthony chatting away, and William with that laid back smile, but talking and laughing loudly, and Dalton, expressing his anger, talking in an expressive voice, his eyes wide and mad.
Joshua immediately ran over and sat next to Nate. “Hey, what did Mr. Albrecht make you guys do? Did you run a mile?”
“Nah, we had to clean up the dirty lockers no one uses,” said Nate.
“And that dusty room with all the old loaners and shoes,” added William.
Gabriel and I hurried over and sat down in front of Nate, William, Anthony, Dalton, Lewis, and Jessica.
“What do you guys do in ACP?” Asked Gabriel, looking at Lewis.
Lewis shrugged. “It’s just like lunch, except you can’t talk. And you have to work at the same time.”
“Mr. Albrecht gave us ACP! We have ACP tomorrow and for the rest of the week!” Dalton scoffed.
I turned to him, giving him a sideways look. “You’d rather be in P.E.?”
“Yeah! I’m used to running! I’d rather run a mile everyday than do ACP for no reason,” he said angrily.
I shrugged. “Jessie’s been in ACP before. She said it was the best punishment since she did absolutely nothing.”
Dalton shrugged, rolling his eyes. I loved it when he rolled his eyes. “Who cares what Jessie says?” And he started muttering something, looking away. I guess he wasn’t in the mood to ask me out right now.
I thought we were the ones making the cafeteria sound so loud, but we weren’t the only ones chatting loudly and obnoxiously. I heard strange voices and looked behind at a group of older kids at a table behind us. They were laughing and cussing, talking dirty and being obnoxious. There was a tall guy in the middle, who had part of a mustache growing. He was the loudest, cussing and talking nasty.
I looked at Dalton to give him an annoyed look about those people, but he was staring at the table, pinching his fingers with his gloves on, his eyes wide, deep in thought.
I continued listening to the stupid people behind us, the guy annoyingly laughing and cussing.
“Yo mama!” The guy yelled, laughing like an idiot.
“Yo mama!” Dalton mocked, looking over at the guy with wide, annoyed eyes.
I turned and saw the guy pay no attention to Dalton, and continue laughing with the people around him. “Hey, you wanna suck my-” he mentioned it in an inappropriate word. The people around him pushed him and started laughing obnoxiously.
“I’ll suck it!” Dalton yelled in an annoyed voice, his eyes still wild with annoyance.
The guy started laughing louder. “Hey that guy over there’s gay! He says he wants to suck my-”
The other people started laughing with him. I looked at Dalton and saw him look away, slightly smiling. I winced and muttered cusses about those people. I looked over at Gabriel, just about to join in the conversation, but then remembered. Those people behind us reminded me of those two troublemakers who were killed in the locker rooms. I looked at Dalton, who was staring away from everyone, expressionless. I couldn’t help but admire how attracting he looked. Deep down, I was more scared and aware of him now that I knew he was a vampire, who may have possibly been the killer of these people, yet, at the same time, I felt even more in love with him.
It was still sunny outside, and when the bell rang to go to the next class, Dalton kept to the shadows, to the side of the building, looking away from the sun- walking alone. Would he really die in the sun? I guess, as a vampire, he would burn to ashes, and the thought of that made me shiver.
Gabriel and I held hands and talked happily, though it was hard for me to act happy when I was scared and concerned out of my mind. I looked behind me. Dalton was a few yards away from us, though he was looking down and walking slowly.
“Hey,” I said to Gabriel. “What’s with Dalton?” Even though I probably already knew the answer. I just wanted to see Gabriel’s reaction.
Gabriel turned and looked at him. “Huh. Dunno. Hey, Dalton!”
Dalton looked up, narrowing his eyes, looking like he’d ran a whole cross country. His cheeks looked red, even from here. He said nothing in response, though I expected a grumpy yell back from him.
Gabriel and I slowed down to let him catch up.
Gabriel looked at him with a sideways look. “What’s the matter? Mad at Albrecht?”
A second or two passed before Dalton answered. “No,” he snapped quietly. “It’s warm. Do you feel warm? I’m burning like hell.”
Gabriel winced at him and shrugged. “It’s pretty warm, but not that hot. You okay? Maybe ‘cause you’re wearing your sweater?”
Dalton just shook his head, looking ahead of him, narrowing his eyes, looking exhausted.
“What? You hiding something in there?” Gabriel slightly laughed.
“Hey, what happened to your blue sweater?” I noticed he was wearing all black today….like I do.
“Got too dirty. Couldn’t wash it off,” he replied quietly.
I glanced at him. Of course he couldn’t not mean blood got all over it…….
“You’re wearing all black today,” I chuckled. “Like I do.”
Dalton glanced at my clothes, still narrowing his eyes and looking like he was going to die. Then he looked away. If only I had been wearing what I had worn a few weeks ago, to impress him.
We chatted, though Dalton did respond, he sounded a little tired and didn’t talk as much, and wasn’t very expressive like he always was.
When we got into line by the math class, Gabriel and I joined Jessie, Ashton, Jeremy, and a group of other people, chatting noisily.
Then I turned to see Dalton slowly walking to the back of the line, holding his side, slightly bending over. When he barely turned so that I could see half his face, he was bending over some more, looking like he was panting. He was wincing, as if he were in pain. I turned a little, to get a better look at him, then suddenly, Mr. Valentino opened the door and laughed.
“I just got a call from Ms. Fletcher!” He was laughing. Everyone turned to him and started chatting, listening to what he was telling, though I didn’t hear what it was all about, for as soon as Mr. Valentino appeared, I saw Dalton slowly turn to disappear behind the wall.
“Alright, come in,” Mr. Valentino signaled one line to come in, greeting each student that passed him. It was the line next to the one I was in, so I turned and saw Dalton appear again from behind the wall, his hand on his head. He stood in line, and stood normally, though his expression still looked a little sick.
When my line came in, I greeted Mr. Valentino, and smiled a good-bye as I let go of Gabriel’s hand to sit in my seat.
“What’s wrong?”
I turned as I heard Mr. Valentino’s concerned voice at the door. Dalton was in front of him, and Mr. Valentino was looking at him with a concerned expression.
Dalton replied too quietly for me to hear.
“Okay, you want to see the nurse?” Mr. Valentino asked.
Dalton shrugged. “I guess,” he said.
“Okay, I’ll right you a pass,” Mr. Valentino turned and entered the class, walking passed me, not noticing that I was still standing there after the bell rang. I watched him take out a pink slip and sign it.
I turned back to the doorway and noticed that Dalton was staring right at me with serious eyes, though they had red-cracks, as well as his cheeks that still looked red.
“What happened?” I said quietly, though he could hear me.
He shook his head, keeping his eyes on me. Then his eyes widened as he turned to Mr. Valentino, and he immediately walked over to him, passing me quickly.
“No, actually, I’m fine,” he said urgently.
“You’ll be fine?” Mr. Valentino looked at him.
“Yeah, I’m not that sick for the nurse. I just have a headache. It’s already getting a little better.”
“You sure?” Mr. Valentino winced. “You said you were feeling sick.”
“It’s just the headache. It usually doesn’t last too long,” he said simply, though he still sounded slightly tired.
“Okay, then. Tell me if you start feeling bad.”
Dalton just slightly nodded. I was already in my seat, but I had heard. He took his seat behind me.
We pretty much just corrected our homework from last night, then finally, the ten minute bell rang.
Mr. Valentino faced the class. “Alright. Remember how on the first week of school on Friday, we talked about ethics?”
“Oh, geez,” muttered Dalton grumpily. “Now we’re gonna spend the whole time talking about ethics.”
I turned to him. “I thought you like having him talk the whole time. It gives us less work to do.” Every Friday, at the last ten minutes, Mr. Valentino would discuss ethics, and we would share anything we saw that was ethical.
Jenny raised her hand. “My brother found fifty dollars at the parking lot, and he turned it in.”
Mr. Valentino nodded. “Yeah, and that’s very ethical. That reminds me, this weekend, my daughter, Samantha, she told me her friend was doing drugs, and she told me how her friend really trusted her not to tell her, but what she was doing was wrong, and Samantha was right to tell on her. One of the hardest things is telling on a friend when they tell you not to tell anybody, but if they’re doing anything wrong, you should tell on them, because if you stay silent, it’s just like you’re accepting it. Remember, either way, friend or not, silence is acceptance.”
I swallowed. He was talking about my own problem. Did I really accept Dalton as a killer, killing Danielle, and possibly these other people? Of course not, but I was still drawn to him, and found it hard to tell.
I raised my hand slowly. “What happened to her friend when she told on you?”
“Well,” said Mr. Valentino, “she was a friend from her soccer team, and I knew her, so when I found that she was doing drugs, I spoke to her privately about it, and I made a deal with her that if she truly quit now, I’ll say nothing to her parents. So she apologized, and hopefully she did what she told me, and quit. Hopefully,” he chuckled. “Yeah, if you know someone’s done something wrong, you should tell on them and for their own good too. No one’s wanting you to rat or tattle, but if you know that person’s done something truly wrong, telling on them isn’t a bad thing, for silence is acceptance. If you just keep your mouth shut, and say nothing, you’re just as well agreeing with the person. Silence is acceptance.”
I saw Jessie, who sat in the front left corner, turn and flash me a quick glance, then quickly turn away. I just winced at her.
When the bell rang for next class, I hurried over to Gabriel’s side. The two of us immediately started talking and laughing, and Jessie came over to join us. As we walked to language arts, I turned and saw Dalton in the distance, keeping to the shadows at the side of the buildings. He walked with Lewis, and I saw Lewis laugh out loud as he chatted with Dalton. I narrowed my eyes. Lewis knew Dalton was a vampire, and of course, he knew exactly what he was trying to do, and noticed him sticking to the shadows. I bit my tongue. I really should talk to Lewis. He was the only one who knew Dalton was a vampire besides me. Jessie didn’t believe me, but I knew Lewis already knew.
I wanted to talk to Lewis about what Jessica had told me, and share my feelings of telling on him. But then I hesitated on that part. If Lewis knew, he surely hadn’t told on him. I guess his advice on telling on him wouldn’t work anyway. And plus, I already knew the right thing of what I should do. I knew I really should tell on him, I just had to make the decision on whether I was going to do it or not. But Lewis seemed like the right person to talk to, even if he hadn’t known Dalton was a vampire. If I had just told him, and he had just found out, he probably would believe me soon enough, for he was a pretty sharp person, clever as well as totally smart. If Jenny was still thinking of asking him out, she’ll probably be lucky.
I turned and noticed Jeremy had joined us, and Gabriel had carried on, talking with Jessie and Jeremy without me. I joined in, though still thought the same time about my thoughts.

After school, I met up with Lewis. Luckily, he was alone, hanging around the park, sitting on a swing, on his phone. The sky turned gray now, and it was getting chillier, and I made sure Dalton wasn’t looking for me, or anywhere nears me, now that I was away from Gabriel. I hurried over to him. I approached from behind, looking over his pointy shoulder from his dark purple leather jacket with pointy shoulders. I saw that he was texting. I tried to read his message.
“U goin 2 meet him at Corn…..” was all I could make out, before he startled me.
“You left your binder near the boys’ locker room,” he said suddenly, not turning around to look at me. He shut his phone. “It’s in the lost and found.”
I took a step back, slightly startled he had noticed me. There was no sun for any shadows. “Oh,” I said in a dry voice. “I noticed I didn’t have it.”
He turned to me. “What was your binder doing there, anyway?”
I shifted my eyes away from him, and shrugged. “I don’t know. I guess after lunch, I stopped to tie my shoe while passing by, and just must’ve left it there,” I lied. I didn’t want to tell him about what I had seen with Jessie over there, yet.
When he said nothing, I sighed. “Hey, can I talk to you? There’s something important I really want to share with you.”
He looked away slowly, staring ahead of him. “Dunno. I have to meet Jessica at the Corner’s Café,” he replied quietly.
“It’s about Dalton,” I told him.
He suddenly turned his deep, serious gaze to me. “Sit over there,” he gestured with his eyes over to the bench behind me.
He and I sat together, and he turned to me, slightly narrowing his eyes, waiting for me to say something.
I huffed. “You know he’s a vampire, don’t you?”
His eyes narrowed even more for just a quick second, then they just focused again. “You do too?”
I blinked hardly. “Ever since he turned into one. I saw him in the girls’ bathroom. He was coughing and throwing up blood, choking to death, until he just lay there. After that, he looked so white, and…..cold, I was concerned about him.” I paused for a moment, but Lewis was listening intently.
“Go on,” he urged.
“And then…..I saw him with Danielle,” I looked at my shoes. “They…..kissed, and then Dalton, he started sucking the blood out of her until she was dead. I saw it right there with my own eyes.”
“Through all that dark, heavy eyeliner?” Lewis chuckled, sideways smiling. For a moment, my heart throbbed as I looked back at his purple eye-lined eyes.
I gave him a sideways look. “That’s when I officially knew he was a vampire. Since then, I’ve been feeling…….slightly different about him.”
Lewis narrowed his eyes a little. “What do you mean? You scared of him?”
“No! I mean……I’ve been feeling more…..” I decided to admit it. “…………attracted to him.” I stopped. I couldn’t say more.
Lewis blinked at me, his eyes still looking right into me, focused. The side of his mouth twitched a slight smile. “You know,” he chuckled, “he feels the same about you too.”
I looked at him, wincing. “So you know?”
Lewis rolled his eyes, smiling. His smile was crooked, but it looked cool, and I liked it. “I hang out with Jessica all day, what do you think? Dalton actually told me first, then, I told just Jessica. She never spoke to him about it, but I do.”
“Jessica told me in history he wanted to ask me out,” I said quietly. “Surprisingly, I didn’t reject it immediately, like I should, since I’m with Gabriel. That’s why I don’t know what to do. He’s a vampire, yet, I like him a lot, and he actually wants to ask me out himself. I never expected him to actually do that.”
“Dalton really likes you, trust me,” Lewis chuckled. “He doesn’t express it, not even in front of me, but I see the way he stares at you, the way he tries to look away from you during science class-”
“How do you know he does that in science? You sit in front of us, to the left.” I interrupted.
Lewis stared into me, giving me his crooked smile. “I see him, that’s all. I don’t try to turn my back on you, try to keep my eyes away from you the whole time like he does. And I also notice the way he blushes whenever you start conversations with him in art and other classes, and starts talking back with you. You know the two of you get real chatty whenever you start talking to each other. You two drive Mrs. Lockard crazy! You know that.”
I shrugged, smiling, blushing myself. “Everyone drives Mrs. Lockard crazy. I know that.”
Lewis spoke quieter. “He wants to ask you out, Nikki. Real badly. And I don’t think following Gabriel around just to avoid that really isn’t going to be fair, nor work for long.”
I whipped my head to face him.
“Yes, I know you’re trying to stick with Gabriel just to keep him from asking you out.”
I narrowed my eyes at him. “Stalker,” I hissed. “I really don’t want to say no, you know. That’s worse than trying to avoid him asking me out. This was why I wanted to see you.” I looked away, and sighed in frustration. “Earlier today, I heard two non-IBs get murdered.”
“What?” Lewis looked at me, wincing.
I met his gaze seriously. “In the boys’ locker room, at the beginning of lunch, two boys were messing around at the front, and then they were pulled in and I could hear screaming and hissing, and…I saw blood. I didn’t witness it, but I heard it and saw blood.”
“You heard that happen in the boys’ locker room today?” Lewis sounded surprised, and he was wincing, staring into my eyes deeply, distracting me. How I wished Dalton could stare into me that way.
“Me and Jessie,” I replied.
“When we were still in there?”
“Yes! Didn’t you guys hear anything?”
Lewis hesitated, then said, “Well, Nate was like, ‘did you hear something?’ And we checked and saw nothing.”
“Was Dalton with you guys?” I gasped.
“Yeah, he was with us,” Lewis muttered, not meeting my gaze. “But he and Joshua had just left the dirty room at the corner with me, to join them, and that was when Nate heard something. But vampires are fast. And silent when they run. They can easily sneak around without even the slightest notice.”
I groaned. “I just can’t believe that he had done that! Or murder Mrs. Yoselinda!”
“Oh, I heard he jumped on you and tried to kill you as well, in Mrs. Palmer’s class,” Lewis met my gaze, giving me a sideways look.
I frowned at him. “Who said that was him? It could’ve been anybody! Someone else could be a vampire! I just don’t wanna believe it was really him, unless I see him do in front of my eyes, like he did with Danielle.”
Lewis stared into me. “If he was thirsty enough to kill Danielle, why wouldn’t he be thirsty enough to kill a random teacher he didn’t know, or two kids he didn’t know?”
I met Lewis’s gaze, not blinking. I noticed he hadn’t mentioned him being thirsty enough to kill me, for he was trying not to get too carried away. “You really think it was him who really did that?”
“I didn’t say that. Just like you, I just think it could be possible. I don’t know every little thing about him, but I do know that he’ll be heartbroken and pissed if he doesn’t get to ask you soon, or get a rejection.”
I rolled my eyes. “So what the hell am I supposed to do? Tell Gabriel I wanna breakup just because I wanna go out with Dalton so he won’t get mad?” I paused, and widened my eyes. I looked away. “It’s actually not that hard for me to think about that. I really do want to go out with him, but I don’t want to breakup with Gabriel. It’s easy for me to say yes to Dalton, but I can’t say no to Gabriel. Especially for a reason like that.”
Lewis nodded slowly. “You’re attached to Dalton.”
I gave him a look. “I suppose you noticed that as well?”
Lewis smiled crookedly. “Of course. You were more easy to tell than he was.”
I made a face at him. “Well, you know what I’ve noticed?” I gave him a sassy look. “I’ve noticed you like Jessica, but she’s not going out with you, so you’ll possibly be with Jenny.”
Lewis grimaced at me. “You haven’t noticed that,” he laughed. “You only heard about that. I know Jenny likes me, she’s the easiest to tell out of you and Dalton.”
I smirked. “That’s not fair to her.”
“Oh, actually, Jessie’s the easiest person to tell. Don’t know anyone who could be easier.”
I laughed. “Of course it’s easy to tell when Jessie likes someone! She blurts it out herself, and does a lot of flirting!” I didn’t bother mentioning she liked him, for, of course, I knew he already knew a long time ago.
Lewis laughed quietly. “Yeah, of course she is.”
“Hey, you’re such a stalker,” I said to him rudely, giving him a sideways smile. “How can you tell so easily how everyone feels? That’s really creepy and annoying.”
Lewis just shrugged. “I can tell by their eyes, by their actions, by their breathing.” I winced as he said that part. “But mostly, by their eyes.”
I grimaced at him. “I guess all that hair sticking out still has a little bit hanging over your eyes to hide how much you focus and stare at people.”
“Oh, it doesn’t take a lot of staring for me to notice pretty soon, when someone has feelings for another,” said Lewis. “Anyway, I really think you should do the right thing about Dalton. Keep up your friendliness with him, and don’t hide behind Gabriel so much.”
I looked to the ground again. “I still can’t dump him. I just can’t, and I just don’t want to. And, especially if I tell him the reason why, he’ll probably hate me forever until I leave him in college. We’ll never see each other again.”
Lewis nodded slowly. “Well, I’m not telling you what to do. Just warning you about Dalton. Pretty soon, he’ll get tired of you always sticking with Gabriel. And when he does ask you out, and you tell him no, you can’t be sure about his reaction. And you don’t want anything to happen to that homie of yours, Gabriel.”
I looked at Lewis, widening my eyes in surprise. He was right. What would happen if Dalton suddenly became jealous of Gabriel? He could maybe……..suck the life out of him.
“You’re right. Maybe I should’ve listened to Jessie and stick around Joshua more.”
Lewis winced at me. “What?”
I sighed. “Hey! Why can’t I just have both of them at the same time? You know, that would be a lot easier. I’ll enjoy both of them, both can enjoy me.”
Lewis rolled his eyes. “You know it doesn’t work that way, Nikki. Either stay with Gabriel and say no to Dalton, or leave Gabriel and go out with Dalton. You can’t have both, and you can’t keep hiding. I’m not telling you what you should do, I’m just telling you what would happen if you made either choice.”
“You didn’t tell me what would happen if I did go out with Dalton,” I said. Then I smiled naughtily. “I bet we’d actually make a great couple, but, Gabriel may hate me and never look at me again.”
Lewis chuckled. “Well, Gabriel’s a nice guy, he probably won’t hate you and be that mean to you, but I bet he probably wouldn’t be very fond of you anymore, and he may just avoid you more often. But you’re probably right about going out with Dalton. The two of you will get along well, and you’ll probably make him feel much better. You know, he’s actually got rough things going on in his life.”
I met Lewis’s gaze with wonder. “Really? I know his parents are divorced.”
Lewis nodded. “He usually has to spend time at his dad’s house, and his dad, as you’ve heard, isn’t a very easygoing person.”
“I saw him once before, when I barely paid attention to Dalton, Nate, and those guys. Back in middle school, I did see Dalton’s dad. He was pretty tall, and he looked somewhat like Dalton in a way, except with such a stern look.”
“Yeah, I’ve met him before. When I came to Dalton’s house, he was normal when I was around, but Dalton tells me he beats him with an ironer. Or anything he can beat him with. He yells at him and treats him like crap.”
“Does Dalton ever yell back, or do anything back?” I asked, listening closely.
“He can’t exactly yell back, but he does talk a little bit back, and snap, or something, but the only way he gets back at his dad is by getting in trouble at school so much. But now, I guess his dad is more careless these days to punish him for anything, unless he gets him mad in any way. So Dalton pretty much just does whatever he feels like at school, or wherever he is.”
I nodded slightly. “I’m not surprised. He told me a little about his dad mistreating him. Does he have any siblings?”
“He actually has an older brother, but he’s in college, so he doesn’t see him often.”
“Do they get along? I bet they don’t get along any better than me and Kenneth,” I chuckled.
“Eh, he told me he wants his brother dead, so yeah, I don’t think they’re very nice to each other. But his brother is Maxwell, and I actually know him well, that’s kinda why Dalton hangs out with me. And Maxie’s actually a pretty punkish guy, he and I are actually best buds, and he gets into a lot of trouble. He’s not mean or anything, just naughty and crazy. But I would guess, around Dalton, he doesn’t treat him very nicely. And Dalton’s mother, I don’t really know her well, but she’s always runnin’ off with other guys.” He looked at me hopefully. “But I bet you could make him feel better once you two are together. I really think that.”
I blushed, and shrugged. “I dunno. I’m not a very comforting person, you know that. Everyone does.”
“I know, that’s the point. You and him are a lot alike in person, and you two get along well, so I would really think you would be the right person for Dalton.”
I narrowed my eyes, looking away. “Eh, I don’t know if I can replace Danielle. I’m nothing like her.”
Lewis started laughing. “You’re such an idiot! Can’t you see that Danielle was the one who liked Dalton, not Dalton liking her? That’s why he just played along and acted like a boyfriend towards her. He didn’t have a crush on her, he didn’t hate her, so when she asked him out, he just went out for the heck of it, and just treated her like a closer friend. He did get along with her well, and had a great time because she was a fun, outgoing person, but she wasn’t exactly like him. She wasn’t dangerous and naughty the way you were.”
I gave him a nudge. “Yeah, stop flattering. I knew that. I’m just wondering whether he’ll do the same to me like he did with Danielle when he got thirsty for blood. Do you think he would?”
Lewis shrugged. “He could, but he may not. But overall, he could really be happy going out with you. Just don’t make him feel bad by hiding around Gabriel during P.E., lunch, and passing period. Even though he knows you two are a couple, he may get jealous, or something, and you don’t know what will happen to Gabriel.”
Suddenly, there was a strange, musical ringtone that played. If it played any longer, I probably would’ve become hypnotized.
Lewis opened his phone. “Ugh. Jessica. She’s getting angry. She was expecting me at the Corner Café. I gotta go.”
“What does she want there?” I questioned.
“None of your business,” Lewis said urgently. He got up. “I have to go. Just think about what you’re going to do.”
“Wait!” I got up. “One more thing.” He turned impatiently, narrowing his eyes. I came up to him. “Why was Dalton feeling so sick earlier today? After lunch, he looked like he was dying. He was complaining about how hot it was, and I understand vampires and sunlight, but that couldn’t have caused him to feel that way.”
Lewis shrugged. “Who knows? Maybe he drank someone’s blood and it was tainted. Or maybe he was just really cranky about the sun.”
“No, I mean, he really looked sick. He was walking so slowly and I bet he threw up behind Mr. Valentino’s class.”
“Did you check it? Was it blood? He could’ve sucked up some poisonous blood of some kind.”
I frowned. “No! I’m serious! Do you know what it could’ve been?”
Lewis chuckled. “Well, I did notice him feeling very sick, and even though he only told me the heat was killing him, I did sense that he was feeling very dizzy, and could’ve fainted any moment. He had what they call ‘sun trauma,’ in which the sun’s light and heat bothers a vampire so much, it can easily damage themselves, and kill them easier. It usually happens when a vampire hasn’t drunken enough blood. They get weaker and more sensitive to sunlight.”
So it really couldn’t be Dalton who killed those boys, could it? “So, could Dalton have not killed those boys then?”
“No, that’s not likely. He probably hasn’t had enough blood lately, for there haven’t been any traces of dead bodies anywhere after Mrs. Yoselinda, so that could’ve been his first kill in a long time.”
“Could he really have survived that long?” I winced.
“Vampires are immortal, remember that. They just become very weak when they don’t get enough blood, so yeah. He could’ve gone through another few days without blood, if only the sun didn’t come out to make it worse. And he’s actually not feeling any better, despite what he told Mr. Valentino. He’s actually feeling worse, I could tell. He only told Mr. Valentino he was okay so he wouldn’t have to have the nurse check over him and see there’s no problem she knows of.
“And hey, did you notice how he was wearing his sweater the whole time?”
I raised my eyebrows. “Yep. It was black. I bet his other one got stained with too much blood, he had to get a new one.” Then, I added quietly, smirking, “Looks hotter on him when he wears black.”
Lewis smiled his crooked smile. “Yeah, his other sweater was covered in blood. And remember, he had his blue sweater on earlier today, in art. Then, after P.E. and lunch, he wore his black one. Could’ve gotten blood stained on there today.” Lewis raised his eyebrows twice at me under the strands of his hair shoved to the left side. He looked like William when he did that. “But anyways, he showed me what was under his black sweater, why he was wearing it the whole time. There was, of course, blood. It was wet and heavy, it just didn’t show through too well since it was a black sweater, but he was saving it for whenever he got too thirsty again.”
I gave Lewis a look. “’Again,’ you say? So he really did tell you about how he felt, and why he felt?”
Lewis met my gaze and widened his eyes. “Oh, yeah. He knows I know he’s a vampire. Yeah, he told me. But that’s not how I know. I knew before he told me.”
I narrowed my eyes at Lewis, and gave him a dirty look. “Why didn’t you tell me that before- you could really confuse me if you wanted to, Lewis. I don’t trust you now.”
Lewis turned to me until he faced me all the way. He looked at me, slightly having to look down since he was so tall. He gave me a crooked smile. “Of course I can confuse you,” he said slyly. “But right now, I’m just telling you what I know. I’m actually pretty glad to share this with you, besides just Jessica and everyone else I hang out with.”
I rolled my eyes. “Wow. They know too? I’m just thankful they don’t blabber it to everyone else. Who are those people you hang out with anyway? They’re from the other freshmen class, right? I always see you with Jessica, a weird blue-haired girl, two twin guys with long hair, like Sam and Gabriel, except they’ve got it spiked in the middle, and their black hair is sprayed with a little streak of white, and some girl who dresses weird with the craziest hair I’ve ever seen. Crazier than yours, she’s got two layers on both sides, where it curls up at the ends. And she’s got bangs and a bow behind her head.”
Lewis’s expression eased. “Oh, that crazy-haired girl is like Jessie. She’s weird, crazy, and loudmouthed, except she’s more smart and clever when she has to. Her name’s Louise, and she’s too girly. But I talk to her anyway. The twins are Shawn and Justin. They’re cool, you would like them. And the girl in the blue hair is Delaney. She’s very quiet and mysterious when she doesn’t know you, but she’s actually very observant and pretty cool to hang out with.”
I nodded. “Shawn’s kinda cute, actually.”
Lewis winced, giving me a sideways look. “Justin and he are both twins, they both look alike, you know.”
I smiled. “Yeah, but I have a way of liking one twin’s looks better than the other.”
Lewis gave a slight chuckle. “They’re not like Gabriel and Sam, when one’s got obvious differences, like the eyes and the straighter hair.”
“Yeah, but Shawn’s got nicer eyes. They look more calm, and Justin’s are a tiny bit smaller.” I looked at him naughtily. “You all have something in common, though. You’ve all got strange, stylish hair. Jessie says you look like a cat, your eyes look like a cat narrowing its eyes, as well as your hair making you look like one. You should see inside her binder, she’s got papers of your name and her name written all over it, and decorated with love everywhere.”
Lewis rolled his eyes, smiling crookedly. “Whatever. I’ve gotta go now. Later,” and he started walking up the sidewalk, walking pretty fast.
I grimaced after him. “Stalker,” I said loud enough for him to hear. Then I yelled, “And you actually do look like a cat, with your hair pointing out in the top two corners of your head, and at the bottom!” Except that they pointed out too long and too high for a cat’s, he looked more like a rabbit with two ears at the bottom of his head.
I turned, about to walk home, then turned to stare after Lewis as he quickly walked up the sidewalk. I wondered about following him, to see what he was up to with Jessica, then my phone suddenly started vibrating.
I opened it up and found a text message from Gabriel.
“Hey im at the shoppin centr with jess, jeremy, jen, nate, josh. Com ovr.”
I texted back:
“Wat?! Joshua? No way. Unless u get rid of him”
“nah, hes cool right now. Com ovr.”
I rolled my eyes. I hurried up the sidewalk to the shopping center we hung out at that was closest to the school. I wish I had taken my bike. It was uphill. And the shopping center included the Corner Café, so I could probably see Lewis and what he was doing.
I was panting as I finally reached the shopping center. I looked around as I made my way to the corner, where Jessie, Gabriel, Nate, Jeremy, Jenny, and Joshua were hanging out. I could hear Joshua’s loud, obnoxious laugh from hear, as well as Jeremy’s yelling. I looked around for the Corner Café, and then caught Lewis and the blue-haired girl, Delaney, standing so close to each other, their heads touched, and they were looking down at something Delaney was holding. Their backs were turned to me, so I couldn’t see what they were looking at. But I saw that Delaney was almost as tall as Lewis, maybe just an inch or two shorter. She wore bluish tights and a dark blue tight satin shirt. Her legs were like sticks in those tights, as well as her arms.
She had weird hair also, though it was nothing like weird compared to Louise, who had light brown hair, with two layers that curled up at the end, and then in the back of her head, it wasn’t layered, and it smoothly went down a little lower than the curled up layers on the sides, and curled up as well at the end. She had a big red-violet bow in the back of her head, and part of it showed from the front. She had bangs that hung almost to her eyelashes, and she dressed with different colors, usually something like black and purple, or black and red, or black and pink, and she always had a skirt and striped stockings, and sometimes long socks. She wasn’t ugly, she was kinda pretty and cool in way, just a little strange. And like, Jessie, she was always either laughing out loud, or yelling angrily in someone’s face, except her laugh was just loud and crazy, instead of girly and giggly like Jessie’s.
Delaney’s hair was a little like Jessie’s, except it was blue instead of purple, and it did curve down at the end, except instead of stretching out behind her like Jessie, it was divided into two, and went over both sides of her shoulders.
As soon as Lewis’s other strange friends appeared from the café, I saw something they all had in common. Louise wore hot pink tights with long pink and black striped socks that reached up to her knees. She was stick thin and the tallest one, though not as tall as Lewis. Jessica was the same figure as well, though she had bigger boobs, and yeah, I could see that from here. Delaney was probably the thinnest, looking like a praying mantis or some kind of stick bug from a distance. Shawn and Justin, being twins, they were the same shape as well, so that wasn’t much of a big deal, except that they were pretty short. I blinked at them all. Lewis had abs, I heard, but he still looked pretty thin as well. I felt almost healthy compared to Louise, Jessica and Delaney, even though my figure was almost the same as theirs as well.
As soon as they all disappeared into the café again, I joined Jessie and everyone else, Joshua pinching my hip as I walked passed him. I turned and gave him a slap on the shoulder, making him yell obnoxiously. I laughed and dodged as he tried to kick me at my legs. He was standing by Nate, chewing gum, with his hood on over his tall, spiky hair, and Nate laughed as I ran away to Jessie and Jenny, who were sitting in front of each other, laughing and writing something in a notebook.
“Hey, Nikki! Dalton likes you! Ashton was just here, and he told how he heard Lewis and all those other weirdoes talking about it at lunch,” Nate yelled. I turned to face his stupid grin.
“I already know that!” I shouted sassily, giving him a sassy look. “How the hell did Ashton hear them talking? Is he a stalker now?” I tried to hide my extreme disappointment now that Ashton and Nate knew about it. I bet Gabriel already knew about it by now, and pretty soon the whole class would hear about it.
“I don’t know! He was sitting right next to them, so, yeah. I guess you could still call him a stalker!” Nate replied. “You hate him now?”
“I always hate Ashton,” I said indignantly. “Nah, just kidding. I’m just gonna kill him for being the one to hear about it first.” And that he told Nate.
“Yeah, and I’m gonna kill Dalton!” Joshua put in.
Nate looked at him and muttered something with a naughty smile on his face, and Joshua, shook his head. “He can’t ask her out. Not when she’s already got another dumbass with her.”
I glared at Joshua, though I didn’t feel like snapping back something mean. I looked around. “Hey, where is that dumbass, anyway?”
“He went with Jeremy into Albertsons,” Joshua said in a rude tone. “They were gonna buy some gum and crap.”
I turned away and sat with Jessie and Jenny. I looked at the notebook on Jessie’s lap. There was a list of names that were numbered 1-3. Number 1 was Justin Bieber, number 2 was Nick Jonas, and number 3 was Taylor Lautner.
Jessie turned to me. “Guess what? Nick Jonas is cute.”
I was thinking about the things Lewis had told me, and hadn’t heard her clearly. “What?!” I said in disbelief, whipping over to where Nate and Joshua were obnoxiously laughing together.
“She thinks Nick Jonas is cute,” Jenny told me, smiling sideways.
“Oh,” I breathed. “I thought you said Nate told us he’s cute.”
Jessie gave me a disgusted look. “What’s going on with you? What the heck!” She started laughing and flipped to the next page. “That was my list of cutest guys ever.”
“Oh, make one for the ugliest guys also,” I said.
“Okay,” Jessie widened her eyes excitedly. She numbered her page 1-8, and wrote for number 1, Nate Norman.
Jenny laughed out loud. “Oh my gosh! Oh! I know who should be number two!”
Jessie was already writing William G. “Can’t spell his last name.” She laughed.
“Then it’s Anthony,” Jenny giggled.
Jessie smiled and wrote, Anthony Jameson. “Okay, who else?”
Jenny gave a snicker. “Dalton?”
I made a face and gave her a nudge as she wrote Dalton Jones.
Jessie gave me a naughty look. “What? He is!”
“Yeah, well, put Joshua first,” I gave her a naughty look back. “There’s no way Dalton’s uglier than Joshua.”
“Yeah! Put Joshua first! Or he should at least be second,” Jenny said.
Jessie looked up. “Nah, I’ll just put him fourth. Okay, who else?”
“Lewis,” I laughed. Jessie gave me a grimace. “Just kidding, he’s hot. Put Joshua,” I said rudely.
“Oh! Wait, he’s next,” Jessie said as she wrote number four. She put Samuel Gadsen.
I widened my eyes and grimaced at her. “Sam’s sooo not uglier than Joshua, he resembles Gabriel in a way!”
“Oh, whatever! This is my list!” Jessie said. “Joshua’s next, then Dalton.”
I made a face at her.
For the rest of the list, she wrote down celebrities. Then, she started her next page. She wrote down a list 1-8 again.
“This is the list of hottest guys anywhere.” She wrote for the first three, the same ones as before, then wrote Lewis Stanfords next, then Jeremy, then James, then Gabriel, then Ashton.
Jenny laughed. “Why’d you put Jeremy and Lewis before James?”
Jessie playfully widened her eyes at her. “’Cause they’re hotter! That’s why!”
I gave Jessie a quick glance. She said certain guys were hotter than her own boyfriend, and I bet I could do that also without getting people suspicious of me, but I was too serious about it to make it sound like I was just messing around.
Jenny huffed, smirking. “Well, Lewis probably is, but not Jeremy.”
I looked over to the Corner Café in the distance. Lewis and Delaney were surrounded by the rest of the strange group, Shawn and Justin, who both wore black and white striped shirts and tight black pants that hung slightly down. They looked like a pair of emos, for their left eyes had darker, heavier eyeliner splotched over it, darker and heavier than the other side. Louise and Jessica were there too, and there were a few other older-looking teens who I’ve never seen around school, who all looked pretty emo-ish. They were all dressed in dark and white patterned clothes, and some were smoking.
“Okay, who the heck are those guys anyway?” I huffed. “Lewis is always with strange people, seriously.”
“So? He’s cool like that. Geez, stop complaining about stuff like that, you sound like Analiese.” Jessie said.
I shrugged at her. “Lewis is actually pretty cool, I was just with him.”
Jenny sighed. “He’s so fine. I’m so going to ask him out soon.”
I grimaced at her. “You keep saying that. When are you actually gonna do it?”
Jenny shrugged, smiling over at Lewis in the distance. “Just until I get to know Jessica more. She and I are starting to talk to each other more, so once she gets to know me, I can feel more comfortable going out with Lewis, since he likes Jessica.”
I laughed. That won’t take long. It doesn’t take too long for someone to get to know Jenny well, she was such a talker, people got to know her the first three days they spent time with her.
Jessie narrowed her eyes at her. “Why? Who cares about Jessica? I would just ask him out right away. Forget what Jessica thinks of you. You know, she used to date James a long time ago.”
“Yeah, wasn’t that when James took those pills during a party, fell asleep, and asked her out during his sleep?” I said roughly, for that was the same party I broke up with Joshua.
“Yep,” Jessie said, not meeting my gaze. “I still call him a jerk for that.”
Jenny laughed. “I can’t believe a person like James can stand you. He may be shaky, clumsy, and easily frustrated, but once he knows you, he’ll say whatever he wants and act like a smart-ass.”
“He loves me, that’s why,” Jessie replied sassily.
Then Jessie turned to me. “Hey, Nikki. So are you gonna go out with Dalton, or not? Everyone’s gonna know he likes you before we go on break in about two weeks.”
Jenny nodded, giving me a sideways look. “Yeah, thanks to stupid Nate.”
I shrugged. “I don’t know what to say to Gabriel. He’ll hate me for breaking up with him just for the sake of Dalton.” And for his sake as well, but I didn’t say that.
Jenny met my gaze. “Well, you’re lucky he doesn’t hate Dalton as much as some people do.”
“Yeah, like I do,” Jessie said teasingly.
“Yeah, me too,” Jenny added in a sour tone.
I made a face at her. “You talk and laugh with him in art every single time!” I grimaced.
“Yeah, that’s ‘cause I just really hate sitting next to him,” she replied tartly, smiling. “But you should ask him out. You two would actually make the perfect couple.”
I gave Jenny a look, surprised that she actually wanted me to. “I know that,” I said hastily. “But what am I supposed to say to Gabriel?”
“Say, ‘sorry, homie, but I’m going out with Dalton so he doesn’t get pissed, and plus, I think he’s cool and cute,’” Jessie said, writing something in her notebook.
I picked up a tiny speck of a rock and threw it at her, making her twitch her head.
Jenny laughed. “Just tell him you wanna break up in the nicest way you can, but just don’t tell him why. Then ask Dalton out a while later, not the very moment you break up with him, or else he’ll know why. Or just plain tell Dalton you don’t want to go out with him if you don’t want to.”
I winced in frustration, looking at the distance where Lewis was hanging out. “But I do want to go out with him. I just don’t want to break up with Gabriel.”
Jessie looked at me. “Then have both of them, that will make it easier! Nah, just kiddin’. Just stay with Gabriel, seriously! Why you wanna go out with Dalton anyway?”
Just then, Gabriel and Jeremy appeared out of Albertsons.
“Hey, Jenny! Come here! You’re gonna love this!” Jeremy called.
Jenny sighed and got up, walking over to them. “What?” She said tiredly as she joined them, walking into Albertsons.
I turned and saw Nate run after them, and Joshua stayed there, leaning on the rail in front of the rows of shopping carts. He narrowed his eyes, staring across the distance, chewing gum.
I turned back to Jessie, and leaned closer to her. “Okay. The reason why I want to go out with Dalton, is because I really do like him-”
Jessie whipped her head at me, with a look of disgust, and wide, surprised smile as well. “Why? He’s so ugly!”
I frowned and gave her a thwack on the shoulder with my thumb.
“Ow!” She yelled, and immediately slapped me on the knee with the back of her hand.
From the corner of my eye, I saw Nate was back, and he and Joshua turned to us, Nate leaning forward from the other side of Joshua, looking at us excitedly.
I pushed Jessie slightly. “Stop it!” I hissed through clenched teeth, snickering. “Seriously, there’s another reason why I want to ask him out.” I said as soon as Nate and Joshua turned away and Jessie stopped giggling. “He’s a vampire, right? I don’t want to say no and anger him, then he’ll possibly do something to Gabriel.”
Jessie stared at me, with a smile of disbelief. “Okay, you still believe that B.S.? Dalton is not a vampire.”
I slapped the ground. “Have you been noticing how white he is? And how he licks the back of his teeth, licking his sharp teeth? You sit in front of him in history, it’s not that hard to notice.”
Jessie shrugged. “I just don’t believe in vampire crap. No one does. Not even you.”
I rolled my eyes. “Hey, how about I watch him lick his teeth, or when I see him do something vampire-like, I’ll take a picture of it, then I’ll show it to you. You better believe me when I show you, okay?”
“Okay, fine. But it better be obvious. Can’t just be a picture of a drop of red on his sweater or by his lip. It’s gotta be obvious, like him devouring a body or something.”
I grimaced at Jessie. “Okay,” I said, replied. “I can’t believe you’re wanting to see something that will totally gross you out.”
“I’m not wanting to see anything disgusting. I just have to see it obvious enough to believe it.”
I blinked heavily at her, giving her a sideways look. “Whatever. On Monday, I’ll keep a closer eye on him. but it’s going to be harder since I won’t see him in P.E. because of A.C.P.”

On Monday, I woke up cranky. I had forgotten to take a shower the other night, and I woke up with my eyeliner smeared all over the top of my face, and my hair was still in two crazy ponytails, except right now, they were tangled and hung down messily. This was just like the first day of school. Last night, I was chatting with Gabriel, Jessie, and Lewis about the same thing- Dalton. Except with Gabriel, I just talked about him personally rather than about asking him out. I had stayed up so late, I had just dropped on my bed afterwards without taking a shower or anything.
I was so angry, I didn’t get out of bed. I just lay there, in my clothes, and looking like a total mess, cussing angrily.
There was a knock at my door. “Nikki! Wake up! This is the last week of school. Get it over with now!” My dad was impatient.
“No, you retard! We still have one more week after this before Christmas break! Dammit! Read the calendar!” I yelled crankily.
My door instantly flung open, and my dad stomped in my room. He grabbed my arm, and I screamed angrily, clinging on to my bed before he could pull me off.
“Get up right now, you don’t talk to me like that,” he snapped forcefully. He yanked me even harder.
“NOOOOOOO!!!!! SHUT UUUUUUUP!!!!!!” I kicked in the air, pulling myself away, clinging harder to my bed.
My dad whacked his hands at my legs. “Stop that. Get up right now, or you’re not having the computer while you’re off track.” My dad said through clenched his teeth.
“Argghhghgh!” I snatched my arm away from him, then rolled out of bed angrily, hitting myself on the ground, and started screaming angrily, kicking and thrashing around.
My dad gave me a kick and I screamed louder.
“NIKKI! Get up and behave, or you’re grounded the whole off track time!”
“Then get OUTTA MY ROOOOMMMM!!!!!” I screamed like I was screaming at Kenneth.
“You get up and change first!” My dad yelled back. He grabbed my arm and pulled me up. I cussed and yanked my arm away again, and purposely threw myself on the ground on my pile of clothes by my closet, screaming.
“OUUUUUTTTT!” I yelled, my face pressed to the pile of clothes.
I then heard my text message ringtone, and I felt my cell phone thrown at my back. “Hurry up!” Yelled my dad and slammed my door as he left.
I whipped around and grabbed my phone, opening it up. There was a text message from Dalton.
“Meet me in front of skool alone.”
I slammed my phone shut, too angry to reply, and threw it at my backpack near my door, and angrily got up and took my new clothes.
I flung my door open and angrily stomped to the bathroom. Kenneth was standing by the top banister of the stairs, staring at me, and when he saw that I was headed for the bathroom, he ran over to the bathroom and shut the door, snickering. I ran over and kicked the door as hard as I can.
“Get outta there!!!! I need to use the damn bathroom!!!” I screamed at the top of my lungs.
“No, I’m using it,” he said sassily.
I banged the door some more, and yanked the knob noisily. “OPEN UUUUUUUUPP!!!!”
Edward got out of his room that was right next to the bathroom. “Dude, use the one downstairs,” he chuckled.
I kicked him in the shin. “No! I was gonna use this one!”
He said nothing and just headed to the stairs. I yelled a cuss word at him and continued banging on the door.
Then, I saw the key to the small table on my left. I snatched it and unlocked the knob, then kicked the door open, making Kenneth fall over, for he was leaning on the door.
“Owww! Nooo, I’m using it!” He yelled.
I gave him a kick and pulled him out of the bathroom.
“Ow! Nikki!!!” He complained angrily.
I shut the door on his face, locked it, and threw my clothes on the floor. Kenneth kicked at the door.
“Nikki!” He yelled. He kicked more at the door.
I banged back. “Shut up!”
“Kenneth!” I heard my dad yell.
“Nikki kicked me out of the bathroom!” He yelled, I heard him run away downstairs.
After getting ready, I got a bowl of cereal and pushed Kenneth out of my seat.
“Ow! What the heck?!” He hit my back.
I instantly turned; my eyes narrowed, and pushed him down on the floor next to Jack, making him back away. Jack was spending the week at my mom’s house this time.
Kenneth yelled out a cranky cry, the most annoying cry I could hear, and my dad turned around from the stove.
“Nikki! Do you want to be grounded?” He yelled sternly. Edward, who was standing next to him, was at the refrigerator, and he flashed me a sly smile and looked away.
“He was locking me out of the bathroom on purpose!” I yelled.
“There’s a bathroom downstairs, Nikki! Just shut up and get along!”
“Yeah, the bathroom I was using,” Lynn said, sitting at the table.
“Yeah, and Lynn takes twice as long as Nikki in the bathroom,” said Edward sassily, sitting across from her.
I pulled his hair before sitting down next to Lynn.
“Ow, dammit,” he muttered, glaring at me.
“I don’t even take too long in the bathroom,” I said roughly.
Lynn smiled. “I like to take my time.” Her smile was always calm, for she had calm blue eyes. She always had her hair up in two buns, one at the corner of the top of her head, with some hair hanging under the buns, and a hot pink bow in between, behind her head.
Lynn turned to me. “Hey, Nikki, are you friends with Dalton Jones? I know his older brother, Maxwell. He hangs out with me and Carissa sometimes. He told me he likes you.”
I made a face at her. “Wow, I‘m not surprised you already know. Yeah, Dalton and I are cool with each other. I sit next to him in every class except history. And in front of him in math since we’re in rows than tables.”
Edward chuckled. “Dalton’s a loser. He just talks to you ‘cause he wants attention. That’s why he follows Lewis around.”
Lynn gave a sideways look. “Maxie talks about him sometimes. And I’ve met him a few times. He’s not mean to me, but he’s pretty ambitious. Are you going out with him?” She looked at me.
“Yeah,” Edward said for me, giving me a sly smile. “She loves him. And he thinks she’s hot.”
I threw a flake at him. He just blinked, still keeping that stupid smile on his face. “You like Jessie, I told her that a long time ago.”
Lynn laughed and Edward winced at me. “I don’t like Jessie!” He said in disbelief. “I used to, but not anymore. She’s too stuck-up, and she’s got that purple hair now. She looked hotter with that red hair in grade and middle school.”
Lynn laughed. “Jessie’s cool. James is cute.”
I looked at Lynn. “Jessie thinks you’re cool. And she hates Dalton, so she laughs at me for wanting to go out with him.”
“Well, don’t you already have Gabriel?” My dad butted in. I forgot he was right there. He sat with us at the table with a plate of scrambled eggs.
I gave him a look. “Yeah, I have Gabriel. Dalton just wants to ask me out.” I didn’t admit to him that I would like to as well.
“Gabriel’s stupid!” Kenneth yelled, walking passed us with a cup of orange juice. And then he added a cuss word about Dalton. I called him the cuss word back.
“Kenneth! Don’t use that language!” My dad snapped.
“Nikki and Edward use it all the time!” He said back, walking over to the couch.
“No we don’t,” Edward said in a simple, bored tone, obviously not sounding convincing.
My dad just sighed. “Just get along and stop bugging each other, Nikki and Kenneth, and Nikki and Edward.” He gave us an irritated look. “That would make me real happy.”
Edward shrugged and poked my shoulder. “She’s the hussy around here.”
“Yeah, but you’re the lazy jerk,” I kicked his foot from under the table.
He kicked me back, with a bored look. “Even people at school say you’re a hussy.”
“Yeah? People say you’re ugly. And you probably grow moles in you back.” It wasn’t true, and I knew it, as well as he; most people say he’s hot. Analiese used to like him, and he’s got some girls chasing after him in his own class.
Edward and I continued our usual argument, back sassing back at each other and Lynn drove us in her car.
At school, I looked around for Dalton, and took out my cell phone. I was somehow going to snap pictures of him to prove he was a vampire. I saw him hanging by the dumpsters, wearing his black sweater and gloves again. It was cloudy today, luckily for him. He had dark blue tight pants, and they hung down again, purposely. I remembered he had wanted to meet me. Alone.
Before showing up, I narrowed my eyes at him, seeing if there was anything I could snap that showed he was a vampire. He was pacing slowly around the side of the dumpster, and spit in the corner. He looked to his left, then pulled off his glove on his right hand. I made a face and took a step back as I saw what was on his hand. From this distance, I could see there were streaks of blood cut around his hand, lines crossing everywhere, it almost looked like his hand was going to crack and fall apart. He took his middle finger, the one that looked the less scratched with blood, and slowly put it in his mouth. I could see this was going somewhere, so I quickly opened my phone, and put it in camera mode, zooming in so it looked clear he had his finger in his mouth, and took a picture. Then, he took out his finger, and it came out with a streak of new, glistening blood. I quickly snapped a picture of that.
Then, I looked to the left of his foot, where he had spit. I realized it was blood, and I took a picture of that anyway.
I sighed and decided to show up. I made my way towards him, and approached him from behind.
“Hey,” I said coolly.
He quickly turned his head around in surprise. “Oh, hey.” He said quietly, slipping back on his glove. But when he had turned, I gasped. I noticed he was wearing eyeliner, very dark black eyeliner, looking like a total emo with that dark, heavy eyeliner over his eyes and pure white face. And he had a lip piercing.
I narrowed my eyes at him. “What are you doing?”
“Nothing, just waiting for you,” he replied hastily. “Hey, are you going to break up with Gabriel?”
I swallowed. Here it comes. “Eh, I really would choose not to, but, why?”
He looked away. “No, it’s just…….why’d you break up with Joshua again? Nate once told why, but I forgot. Why did you break up with him?”
I looked at him intently, trying to hold back an admiring smile. He was speaking quietly, with a shy expression, his eyes troubled and trying to look away. “Well,” I said sassily. “Joshua actually used to be a nice guy. He didn’t used to have spiky hair and a rude, gangster attitude.” I laughed. “And you should’ve seen him without spiky hair, he looked so different. He had hair slightly longer than Sam’s and James’s. It was somewhat like a girl’s, you would laugh if you remember.”
Dalton let out a small laugh. “Yeah, I kinda remember. I’ll have to see it to laugh at it.” He tried to smile, still looking troubled, and it made me want to blush at how cute he looked, when he tried to smile over that troubled look. I smiled sassily before I went on.
“Yeah, so one time, Joshua and I went to Jenny’s party- her sister’s sweet sixteen- and he got drunk with beer, and flirted with these other weird girls I didn’t know, and then ever since that party, he was always drinking and doing all kinds of crazy stuff, and started treating me like a gangster’s girlfriend, talking dirty and all, so I got tired of him, so I broke up with him.”
“Don’t you like being treated like a gangster’s girlfriend?” Dalton asked, sideways smiling, then looked away. “I mean, you act like a gangster’s girlfriend.”
I gave him a sideways look. “Well, Joshua was just doing too much dirty talk and treating me like an object, so even though he stopped drinking, I bet it’s still messed up his head and he’s a total jerk for life.”
Dalton muttered something, looking down. I bet he was thinking how to ask me out now. I wasn’t ready just yet.
I gave him a look. “My gosh, why are you wearing dark black eyeliner and a lip piercing? You look like an emo……person.” I was about to say vampire, but I remembered he didn’t know I knew.
He met my gaze, his dark-covered eyes cute, looking troubled. Even under that makeup, he still caught me in a trance. “I look like you,” he admitted. Then he gave me a sideways smile. “You should’ve worn your lip piercing today.”
I blinked at him, not helping looking wide-eyed. I shifted my eyes, looking at him from head to toe, and sure enough, he could resemble me. He wore dark tight pants, a black sweater, though it was closed up and long-sleeved unlike my short-sleeved black sweater that was open to show my shirt. And he had the dark, heavy eyeliner and a lip piercing. I was stunned. He nearly took my breath away. He looked….cool and…….hot. I was transfixed.
“Huh, yeah,” I stuttered, shifting into focus. “Except I should also wear black gloves and……yeah.” Again, I almost said, wear black gloves and scratch up my hands.
He gave a sideways smile.
“But we’re not supposed to wear lip piercings,” I said, wincing, looking around.
Dalton shrugged, getting that “whatever” look on his face again. “So? Who cares? We’ll both get in trouble. And I really don’t wanna be here right now anyway.”
I gave him a sideways look. “Yeah, well, why are you dressing like me anyway? Jenny’s more stylish than me, actually. All I wear is black and dark slutty-like clothes.”
Dalton gave me an indignant look. “Yeah, that’s why I’d rather look like that than Jenny.”
I narrowed my eyes at him, daring to make the comment. “Well, your face looks really white with that dark eyeliner over your eyes.”
Dalton looked at me but said nothing. “I gotta ask you something,” he said hastily. I braced myself. I couldn’t think of any other way to get him talking about something else to stall.
“Hold on, I wanna do something first,” I said. I took out my phone. “I’m putting this on Facebook. I’ve got pictures of everyone and me except you, I can’t believe that.” I stood by his side. “You mind?” I looked at him, aiming my phone in front of us in picture mode.
“Uh, no. I haven’t been in your pictures on Facebook anyway,” he replied.
“Kay,” I replied. I gave a mean smile, slightly aiming my face to Dalton’s as I looked at my phone, and took the picture. I had to get a picture of Dalton dressing and looking like me, even though people were going to notice it anyway. I wanted to put it on Facebook where I could look at it as much as I wanted.
I looked at the picture. It only showed us up to the neck, but it still showed me smiling the way I always did in friends’ pictures, and Dalton giving his naughty smile, looking cooler when he did it with the eyeliner over his wide eyes.
He snickered. “I look retarded smiling. I probably should do what you do and just frown all the time.”
I nudged him. “I do not frown all the time! I smile like that usually.”
“Yeah, or give a mean smile like that, or whatever.”
“Jessie always complains about how she looks in all her pictures,” I laughed.
“Hey, I need to ask you something,” he said again.
I met his gaze. “What?” I said in a bored voice.
He hesitated. “Do you and Gabriel plan on-”
He was interrupted by sudden obnoxious laughter. I turned to look ahead of us, and Nate, Jessie, and William were approaching.
Dalton angrily muttered a cuss word next to me.
Jessie turned to me, her expression full of naughty happiness, ready to call out to me, then noticed Dalton. “Oh my gosh, Dalton!” She exclaimed and turned, laughing with her face in her hands.
Nate turned, with the same look on his face, and widened his eyes. “Whoa, Dalton, what the hell? What did you do to yourself?”
“Shut up! I did this lip piercing by myself!” He shot back, a trace of laughter in his voice as well as embarrassment.
“Oh my gosh!” Jessie squealed. “He looks like Nikki! Except in a retarded version!”
William laughed. “You should just dye your hair and mess it up!”
“Yeah! And get earrings!” Nate added, cracking up.
Dalton was approaching them I slowly followed behind. “Dude, screw off! I don’t look half as stupid the way William did when he straightened his hair!”
Instantly, me, Nate, Jessie all laughed out loud.
“Ohhhh, I remember that!” I laughed. “You looked like a girl! Your hair was all straight and hanging down!”
William had slightly long, slightly curly black hair, except it didn’t look like a girl’s haircut and was just slightly long. But when he had once straightened it, it hung down a little longer, and was smooth and straight.
Nate hit him on the shoulder. “Oh yeah! You could’ve made a better Nikki if you straightened your hair and wore eyeliner and black clothes!”
William sideways smiled, looking slightly embarrassed. “No, Dalton just needs to dye his hair and then he’ll look better.”
“Yeah, and he’s got the same eye color as you,” Nate laughed, looking at me.
But they didn’t focus on William too long.
“Dude! Dalton, you look so weird in that makeup! You’re not even supposed to wear that lip piercing!” Jessie was cracking up.
“Yeah? You look weird just being yourself every day,” he snapped rudely.
I looked at him. “You really did that lip piercing by yourself?”
“Yeah,” he said simply, looking at me. “It didn’t hurt. It felt cool.”
Suddenly, the bell rang. Nate, William, and Jessie turned, Jessie and Nate still cracking up, and William smiling in his usual smile.
Jessie turned to me. “Hey, Nikki! Come here!” She was smiling.
I turned and saw Dalton was heading to the bathrooms. I hurried up to them.
Nate was still cracking up. “Doesn’t he look so weird? He soooo loves you, Nikki! now he’s trying to look like you!”
William laughed with him. “Yeah! I mean, seriously. If I liked someone, would I dress and look like them? What the heck!”
Nate laughed. “It’s like, I love Jessie, and I dye my hair all purple and make it stick out behind!”
“Your hair’s not long enough,” I said roughly, grimacing.
“Yeah, and that would suck! I’d never go out with you!” Jessie made a face.
Nate turned to her, a sarcastic smile on his face. “Yeah, I know. I’m sorry, but I really hate you, Jessie, I’d never ask you out.”
“Good,” she breathed.
When we sat in science, Dalton was late, but not late after the bell. He had taken off his lip piercing. He had a serious, upset look on his face. His hair hung a little tangled, and he didn’t look at me when he talked.
“What is it with this stupid school not excepting lip piercings, what the hell?” He muttered.
“Eh, I think Ms. Fletcher just didn’t like me wearing it. She just doesn’t like me, so she made me not wear it anymore.” I said sourly.
“She probably wouldn’t like me wearing it either,” he said.
We were supposed to take out our recent lab we did the other day, and go over the questions. I raised my hand.
“I turned mine in yesterday. I was finished,” I said as Ms. Fletcher came over.
“Oh, okay,” she said in a sarcastic tone. “I have them right here. Other people turned it in also, you know. So here, you can pass these out and look for yours.” She handed me a small pile of papers and walked away.
I winced and muttered cusses. Dalton made an irritated snicker next to me.
I looked at him grimacing about Ms. Fletcher. I reluctantly passed the stupid lab papers.
After the lab, we did a little more notes, and I shifted my eyes to Dalton a couple times without turning my head, looking for anything weird he did. He barely did anything worth taking a picture of.
In art, it was easier since we were always socializing while we worked.
“I liked your piercing, Dalton,” Jenny commented sassily.
“Shut up, I did it all by myself,” he replied, not looking at her.
She kicked his foot under the table. “Good for you. Nikki should’ve done that.”
Dalton and I chatted a lot, with Jenny as well, since she always talked to anyone, and Analiese a little bit, but Dalton and I laughed and chatted noisily together most of the time.
Dalton and I cracked up together, and I banged the table, laughing, and Mrs. Lockard whipped her head around.
“Nikki! Dalton! That’s the last time I have to tell you two to shut up! Nikki, your cousin’s coming in here soon, and I’ll be telling her to keep an eye on you!”
I winced. “What’s Lynn gonna do about it?”
Mrs. Lockard just walked away and said nothing.
“Ew, Lynn’s coming here?” Dalton made a face.
“Oh, shut up!” Snapped Analiese. “Lynn’s cool, she’s even smarter than Edward!”
“She always sides with Jessie whenever Jessie’s around, I just hate her when Jessie’s around.” Said Dalton.
I cussed. “Oh, great. She’s bringing Kenneth.”
Jenny banged the table. “She is? Why?!”
“Because no one’s home to look after Kenneth. My mom’s shopping and my dad’s at some science meeting. So she has to take him after her since all she’ll be doing today is just helping Mrs. Lockard.” I rolled my eyes, not wanting to see Kenneth.
When Lynn and Kenneth did come, Kenneth sat at Jenny’s empty seat, for Jenny had moved over to work with Jessie at her table. Analiese was with Mrs. Lockard at the other side of the room, getting help with her painting.
“Ew, Kenneth, why couldn’t have you stayed home by yourself with Jack?” I complained to him.
“I know, you really didn’t have to come to this boring school,” Dalton put in.
“Because! Mom and dad don’t trust me, so I’m stuck with my stupid sister!”
“I thought you liked your sister,” I said sassily.
“Eh, I do. Better than all you freaks.” Kenneth shrugged. He was drawing and doodling on a few papers.
Dalton turned to him, giving him a naughty look. “Who do you hate the most in your family?”
Kenneth made a face at him, then pointed at me. “Her, of course! Then it’s Edward! And that’s pretty much it. Lynn sometimes sucks.”
I smiled at Kenneth. “Yeah, I hate you too. Then it’s my dad. Everyone else is cool.”
Kenneth banged the table. “Geez, these marker suck! Where does Mrs. Lockard keep all her good ones?” I shot up, accidently making his papers slip to the floor, and stomped over to Mrs. Lockard.
Dalton and I snickered. “What a twerp.” Dalton muttered.
Kenneth came back with some markers, then noticed his papers on the floor. He threw his arms up in the air, giving an annoyed look. “What the hell! Why’d you knock my papers off?!” He faced Dalton.
Dalton winced. “I didn’t knock your papers off!”
“Yeah! I did!” I laughed.
Kenneth kicked Dalton’s chair. “No! You did it! I know it! Screw you!” He angrily picked his papers up and banged them on the table.
Dalton immediately knocked them off. “Don’t kick me, you wuss.”
I laughed as Kenneth made that face again. “Heeeeyyyy!” He yelled. He yelled a cuss word at Dalton. He picked his paper up, calling Dalton all kinds of bad names. Dalton just sat there, watching him, smirking.
“What the hell are you drawing anyway?” Dalton leaned over to look at his papers.
Kenneth put a hand over them. “Shut up! You’re such an asshole! You wanna look at what I’m drawing, just shove it up your ass!”
Dalton looked at me and started laughing naughtily. “What the heck?” He laughed.
I grimaced and looked at Kenneth. “Why don’t you shove it up yours after he does that?”
Kenneth glared at me. “No, up yours after him!”
“And then up yours after that,” laughed Dalton.
Kenneth threw a marker at him, but Dalton whacked it away. “Dude, that was so off, do you know how to throw?”
“Shut up, you asshole!” Kenneth continued calling him a list of other cuss words. “I seriously wanna kill you, and stick a knife up you, you son of a-”
Dalton cracked up, though I only laughed slightly, frowning at Kenneth.
“Oh, my gosh. I’m so scared. Some little poser’s gonna kill me,” Dalton said sarcastically.
“Kenneth, you don’t scare anyone. You just explode and no one pays attention,” and I started calling him a line of rude words.
Kenneth broke his marker in half.
“Ooooh, you’re in trouble. You broke Mrs. Lockard’s marker,” Dalton said teasingly.
I laughed. “Dalton, you’re acting like my brother right now, seriously.”
“Ew! Now you’re pissing me off!” Kenneth yelled at me. He threw a marker at me and I whacked it back at him, but he grabbed Dalton’s arm, and pulled it towards him. Dalton yanked his arm away, looking pissed now, and whacked him on the shoulder, cussing angrily.
“Owww!” Kenneth yelled and grabbed his hand. Dalton pushed his hand forward, bumping Kenneth in the mouth, and yanked hand away, but Kenneth still held on and ended up taking off his glove.
I widened my eyes at Dalton’s hand, all scratched up and lined with red blood, and as Kenneth saw it, he started laughing.
“Oh, my gosh, look at your hand! You’re so emo! Haha! You hurt yourself! I’m so going to do that to you even more and kill you!” And he threw his head back, laughing.
Dalton snickered, though his eyes were wide with anger. “You think you can kill me?” He said loudly.
Kenneth continued laughing, then suddenly, his chair tipped back and he fell off onto the floor, hitting his back against Mrs. Lockard’s desk behind him. “Whoa!” He yelled.
I immediately broke into laughter with Dalton, and Kenneth was slightly laughing, looking embarrassed. Jessie’s table turned to look at us.
“Whoa, what the heck?” James said simply in a bored voice. Jessie and Jenny were laughing.
Dalton spit and called Kenneth a name, and snatched up his glove.
“Kenneth, you’re such a retard!” I laughed.
“Hey! Now what’s going on over there?” Mrs. Lockard called.
“Kenneth fell out of his chair,” Dalton said in a tattling voice.
“Kenneth! Get over here!” Mrs. Lockard yelled, wincing.
Kenneth got up, laughing. “But Dalton was-”
“Get over here and explain!” Mrs. Lockard said indignantly.
Kenneth made his way to Mrs. Lockard.
Since I saw his hand in front of him, I might as well ask now. “What the heck happened to your hand?” I winced as he put his glove back on, looking mad.
He looked at me. “My dad made me reach for his keys in a thorn bush and got cut all over.”
I said nothing, and just nodded slowly, staring at his hand.
Dalton left his chair and made his way to the sink on the other side of the room. Mrs. Lockard was with Analiese and Kenneth by her closet. I looked around, over to Jessie’s loud, talkative table, and sneaked over to where Dalton was, and watched him from behind a table of paintbrushes, with my phone. The sink was on, but he wasn’t washing his hands or anything. He looked around, and turned to his right, and opened up his sweater. I widened my eyes as I saw exactly what Lewis had told me before. I saw a huge stain of blood, covering almost the entire inside of his shirt. I quickly aimed my phone at that, and took a picture of his blood-stained sweater. He washed the bloody part in the sink, then wringed it over his mouth, swallowing the blood. I winced in disgust as I saw red liquid spill out of his sweater as he wringed it in his mouth. I slowly took my phone, and snapped a picture of that. I turned away and hid behind the table again. I took a deep breath. Luckily, he didn’t get to ask me out today….yet.
As I made my way to my table drowsily, Jessie called me over to work with her, so I joined her noisy table.
Jeremy started talking about how he was at Nate’s house the other night, and the weird stuff they did. He told how he knew how to ride a skateboard, but Nate didn’t, so he was trying to teach him. That sort of took my mind off of disturbing things.
“Dude, he was sooo stupid!” Jeremy was laughing rudely. “You guys should’ve seen him! He fell off when he tried rolling down the hill!”
Jessie laughed. “Yeah, I could so imagine that!”
“Did he get hurt?” I said excitedly. Nate was goofy and sometimes obnoxious, and it was funny to imagine him having a hard time.
“He probably did, I hope so!” Ashton laughed.
“Psh! Yeah! And you should’ve seen the way he was trying to balance himself!” Jeremy got up from his chair, his face red from laughter. “He was all holding his arms out, looking like such a freak. And he was about to tip over, the skateboard was rocking a little, and he was moving-”
“Did he fall off? And get any wounds?” James interrupted.
“He didn’t fall off that time, but you should’ve seen the way he was balancing himself!” Jeremy laughed as he spoke. “The skateboard was rocking slightly back and forth, and he was about to fall off, so he was all putting his arms out, balancing and rocking his hips, looking like he was dancing!” Jeremy stopped to laugh. “Like this!” He put up his in the air, and slowly swung his hips in a circular motion, and we all laughed at the same time. “Hahaha! It was just funny to see him do that, all balancing retardedly! Like this!”
“Jeremy!” Mrs. Lockard’s sudden snap made Jeremy instantly stop dancing and sit back in his chair, snickering. “Wow! You, Nikki, Jessie, and Dalton all have so much in common with talking so much! You all bug the heck outta me!”
Our table laughed at Jeremy for actually dancing like that and speaking so loud.
Just then, the ten minute bell rang, and Mrs. Lockard ordered us to clean up, and instantly, the class started running around, carrying paintbrushes and art materials, laughing and yelling noisily. Jessie’s table started laughing and running over to the sink in the corner, and I caught Jenny bump into Dalton, and they both fell over, yelling and laughing. Jessie and Analiese pushed Jeremy out of the way, making him yell and bump into me.
“Ew, it’s Nikki!” He turned to me.
“Yeah, I know!” I yelled sarcastically. I pushed him into James.
“Okay, okay! This is just massive chaos!” Mrs. Lockard tried raising her voice, and the class slightly quieted into just a loud chatting crowd.
“Ugh!” I stumbled forward as someone roughly bumped behind me. I turned and it was Sam. I roughly pushed him to the floor.
“Ow! Nikki!” He started laughing and called me a hussy.
In the midst of all the loud chatting in the classroom, I heard Kenneth’s yell, “Jessie!” His yell sounded over all the loud chatting. Several students giggled, and Kenneth lowered his head, looking embarrassed, slowly turning to Mrs. Lockard.
“Alright! Don’t yell like that! Everyone in their seats! Now!” Mrs. Lockard commanded.
I snickered and rushed to my seat at Jessie’s table, and bumped into Dalton as he tried to sit in my seat at the same time.
“Ow! Hey!” I grimaced and bumped him off.
“Ugh! Nikki!” He said in a sassy tone, smiling naughtily.
I smiled back. “Dalton!”
Jessie, James, Ashton, and Sam were all at their regular seats, and Jenny and Jeremy just sat with them, as well as me and Dalton.
Lynn came over, snickering. “Hey, guys, check out Mrs. Lockard’s picture on her phone!”
She showed us a picture of her spanking Edward, with a wince on her face, and Edward looking surprised.
Immediately, our whole table cracked up over all the chatting in the room, and I nearly fell out of my seat.
“Um, that whole table! I should just right a detention for all of you! I can’t stand this!” Mrs. Lockard’s yell didn’t sound half-friendly, half-strict anymore.
“Then take control of us better,” muttered Dalton. I snickered. “Well, she should! Geez, she’s the worst teacher at controlling students!”
“Ha! It’s ‘cause she’s awesome,” said Jessie.
“Yeah, but we really bug her,” Jenny added slyly.
I laughed. “She tells us to shut up all the time, but we never do!”
“She gave me detention,” said Dalton, simply.
“Why?” Asked Lynn.
“’Cause I was just standing at the sink, doing nothing.”
I looked at his sweater. There was a wet spot on the right side. I looked away, deep in thought again, until the bell rang.

For the rest of the week, Dalton was absent during P.E., as well as Nate, William, and Anthony. They were in A.C.P., of course, and I felt a little melancholy without Dalton around. P.E. and lunch were the only periods we had free time to chat with each other, besides art. So I missed him, though I didn’t show it when we played volleyball with my team and around my friends.
And every day now, he wore eyeliner, trying to resemble me, and wore his black sweater every day. I was feeling drawn to him more and more, seeing him like that, but everyone was starting to notice how he was trying to look like me, but hopefully, they weren’t noticing his sharp teeth behind those braces whenever he talked or laughed.
Finally, on Friday, Dalton sat on his number during P.E.
“This is my last day in A.C.P.,” he said to me and Jenny.
“We have one more week of school left anyway,” I shrugged.
Jenny sighed. “We’re doing the fun run today, be thankful you’ll miss it right now.” The fun run was when we had to run around the track, but stop from place to place. Then we had to run the whole thing after we got around.
“I’ll have to make it up anyway,” Dalton said indignantly.
So I went through one more day without him in P.E. But it was a running day, so it wasn’t that much of a difference.
This week, during lunch, I’ve been trying to spy on Dalton some more, but I couldn’t really find much to take pictures of, except for the fact that he never had a lunch anymore. Vampires don’t eat, I heard. He just sat there in the cafeteria with Nate, William, Anthony, Lewis, and his group of strange friends. What I had done was sit with them as well, along with Gabriel and Jenny, who was trying to hang out with Lewis and Jessica more, and I chatted along with them as well, and even got to know some of Lewis’s friends. Louise was a very talkative, and dramatic person, and she and I chatted and got to know each other and laughed a lot, and I even got to know Shawn and Justin, who were cool and thought of me the way all the other boys thought of me. Delaney, I talked to also, but she took a little longer to actually chat with as a friend. Each day, she was a little friendlier and talkative, but she still was a little strange and quiet, and didn’t talk as much. she always looked so serious. But as I got to know Lewis’s friends a little, I still kept my eye on Dalton. I wondered if he noticed I was watching him so much, for I noticed he casted glances over at me also, and talked to me more also.
Finally, by next week, the last week of school, I was in line to the drinking fountain during P.E., chatting with Jessie and Dalton.
“Ugh, I am sooo tired. Why should he make us run on a hot day?” Jessie complained.
Dalton just called them bad names, looking very red. “I’m glad I didn’t do it. I had a doctor’s note. And plus, why is it so sunny on a hot day?” He said a cuss word and spit at the ground.
The fountains were in the shade, but Dalton was looking very red again. I remembered “sun trauma,” and started worrying. There haven’t been any murders lately, so I wondered.
“At least tomorrow will be all cloudy again,” I said roughly. I looked over to the front of the line. “Geez, hurry up! Who’s up there? I’m thirsty out here!”
Jessie turned her gaze over to Dalton. “Hey, you look really red. Are you that hot?”
I cast a glance at Jessie, wondering if she was thinking about him being a vampire and was testing him.
“Yes! You look freakin’ sweating also, and it is that hot out here,” he replied slightly snappishly.
Jessie turned. “Whatever, just asking. Your face just looks as red as an apple. And you’re always usually so white.”
Finally, on the last day before Christmas break, I spoke with Jessie during lunch. We stood by the cafeteria building by the entrance.
“Okay, I haven’t seen him kill anyone yet, ever since those two kids, but this is all I found,” I took out my phone.
“Hey! They never found those kids’ bodies, right?” Jessie brought up. “But they did notice how they went missing and called their parents, who had no idea? The school’s still pretty concerned, and the principal spoke about it during announcements a few weeks ago.”
“Yeah, I don’t know. But look,” I showed her the pictures of Dalton, his red-lined hand all scratched up, spitting blood, drinking the hidden blood stain in his sweater, and the one when he had dressed up as me the first day.
I looked at her, and she had a look of disgust on her face.
“They aren’t enough, I know, but they were the only ones that were worth taking a picture of.” I said.
“Wait, wait. Go back to the one when he was drinking blood from his sweater,” said Jessie. I skipped to the picture of him opening his sweater and showing the blood stain covering the inside, then wringing it in his mouth.
“He wet it first, then wringed it,” I explained, making a concerned face.
Jessie narrowed her eyes at him. “Ugh, sick. And look at his hands! Gross! Does he do that so he can taste his own blood?”
“Do you believe me now?” I said seriously, ignoring her question, not wanting to talk about that.
Jessie raised her eyebrows, still looking at the picture. “I don’t know. It’s pretty obvious, him and messing around with blood and all, but he could just be a weirdo who just happens to like the taste of blood. He still doesn’t have to be a vampire.”
I almost thought about what she said, until I noticed something in the picture. “Hey! But look! Look closely when he’s drinking the blood. See those sharp teeth? They’re like fangs behind those braces, look closely.”
Jessie peered in, and winced. “Whoa, hehe, I don’t know. You sure he’s not wearing those fake teeth?”
I gave her a sideways look. “Seriously, do you believe me? What do you want?! If I saw him sucking a real person’s blood from their body, I would take a picture of it, I really would! But lately, I haven’t seen that, and there haven’t been any murders lately. But I did see him murder Danielle.”
Jessie’s eyes were looking to her left. “Hmm. I wonder what he did with her body,” she said casually, not sounding like she really believed he was a vampire.
“Jessie,” I snapped, irritated. “Do you believe me now, or not?”
She sighed, giving me a sideways look. “Kind of. If I see him suck another person’s blood myself, then I’ll totally believe you, I promise. But these pictures are just making me suspicious, though I don’t completely believe he’s a vampire, for he could just be an emo who likes blood. Some people do like to mess with blood and scratch their hands and skin up, and even taste their own blood, but that doesn’t make them a vampire. But yeah, I am starting to think about it.”
I huffed. “Dude, look at his teeth. He’s not wearing anything fake, seriously. He’s not telling anybody he’s a vampire, so they can’t be fake.” Then I remembered. “But Lewis knows,” I looked at her intently.
Jessie met my gaze. “Lewis knows?”
I nodded, raising my eyebrows. “If you talk to him, he’ll tell you all about it. I’ve talked to him about it before. I told him everything I’ve seen and know about Dalton being a vampire. And he believes me, and says he was the first person Dalton told that he was a vampire.”
Jessie looked at me, surprised. “Okay, I’ll talk to Lewis.” She said quickly, sounding excited.
“The rest of his friends know about it also,” I said. “I’ve talked to them, but not about Dalton being a vampire. He’s helped me a little about whether to go out with Dalton or not, and even told me about sun trauma.”
“Sun trauma?” She winced.
“You know how Dalton was looking like he was going to die during P.E. when the sun was out? Well, he looked like that when the sun was out before that day, and Lewis told me it was sun trauma, when vampires become very weak to the slightest heat or sunlight, when they don’t get enough blood to drink. And Dalton must’ve not had enough lately, even after the two kids were killed.”
Jessie widened her eyes. “Creepy,” she said intently. “Whatever, I’ll talk to Lewis about it. I he says so, I’ll believe you.”
I frowned. I gave Jessie a grimace. “So you’re going to believe Lewis, but not me? Lewis could be a psycho, you know.”
“Well, he’s really sharp!” Jessie objected. “Seriously, he doesn’t seem like the kid who would just make up stuff. He seems very focused and honest.”
“And I’m not?” I gave her a sideways look.
“No. Nah, just kidding. It’s just that….if someone else says he’s a vampire and mentions the same things as you, then I’ll know you’re not the only one, and I’ll believe those pictures are real.”
Then, I raised my eyebrows. “And what do you think you’ll do once you believe he’s a vampire?”
Jessie hesitated. “I don’t know. What are you doing when you think he’s a vampire?”
I nudged her. “You know I like him,” I hissed. “It’s hard for me just to turn him in. And keep it a secret for knowing he’s a vampire.”
Behind us, from the entrance to the cafeteria, Lewis and his friends exited, with Nate, William, Anthony, and Dalton laughing behind them.
Jessie ran up to Lewis. “Hey, Lewis!” She called.
Jenny appeared from the cafeteria, with a sideways look to her face.
I turned to her. “You going to ask out Lewis anytime soon?”
“On break I will,” she said excitedly. “He doesn’t know, but I think he must predict it.” Then she gave me a naughty smile. “So when are you going to ask out Dalton?”
I winced at her, smiling a little. “When he asks me. I don’t know when to break up with Gabriel anyway.”
Jenny nodded, not knowing what to tell me.
The bell rang, and I walked with her to class. Gabriel caught up with us.
“Hey, Nikki,” he said in a friendly tone.
I muttered back a response, then faced him. “Hey, you do know Dalton likes me, right?” I felt Jenny’s gaze turn to us as I said that.
Gabriel winced and nodded. “Yes, I know. Why? You concerned about that? Jessie likes Lewis, but you know she wouldn’t ask him out since she’s with James.”
“Or would she?” Giggled Jenny.
“Yeah, but….have you heard of what Nate said?” I asked slowly.
“Yeah, he wants to ask you out, right?” Said Gabriel in a casual tone.
I looked at him. “Yyyyeah, you’re not mad about that?”
Gabriel shook his head, making a face. “Why would I be mad about that? He wants to ask you out, but he can’t unless you break up with me. I’m just a little bothered that he’s trying to dress like you all of a sudden, that’s just strange. You don’t see me dressing and putting makeup on myself to look like you, do I?” He laughed and nudged me.
I smiled. “No,” I said simply. “But it would look hot if you did,” I said in a teasing tone, then regretted it. I didn’t want to show how hot I thought Dalton looked when he tried to look like me with that eyeliner. Beside me, Jenny giggled.
Gabriel just laughed. “You want me to? I can’t stand piercings, though.”
I nudged him, laughing. “No, that’s okay. I usually hate it when people copy me. You’re hot the way you are.” I let him hold my hand.
Jenny snickered. “You don’t seem mad about Dalton trying to copy your looks.”
I tried not to swallow. “Uh, that’s because he looks so retarded and funny, with all that makeup over his eyes. And he’s dressing all black.”
Gabriel chuckled, wincing. “He wears that black sweater every day, closed. He’s starting to develop a weird style. I wonder what’s going on with him at home.”
I blinked, looking ahead of me. People were already starting to notice Dalton’s strange behavior in looks, but at least that couldn’t lead them to suspect he was a vampire.
When we reached the line to math class, Joshua, Dalton, and Lewis were noisily chatting at the back of the line. Joshua had his tan coat off finally, which revealed his black shirt full of white writing all over it, as well as the huge tattoo on his right arm. I stared at the three of them; Joshua was a little tan, so he looked funny next to Dalton and Lewis, who were both very white. I narrowed my eyes. Why was Lewis even a little white than Dalton, when Dalton was a vampire? There was no way Lewis could be a vampire. I saw no sharp teeth or saw him do anything suspicious and vampire-like at all. But then again, I didn’t keep my eyes on him all the time, nor did he open his mouth as wide, even when he laughed. He did wear eyeliner ever since he came to this school, purple eyeliner, which made him look cool, but that had nothing to do with being a vampire. He and Dalton laughed as Joshua mentioned something in an obnoxious tone, and as I looked closely, I saw fangs behind Dalton’s braces, and Lewis, who had no braces, didn’t open his mouth as wide, but I could still see there were no fangs or anything sharp in his mouth.
I walked with Gabriel and Jenny to join them.
“Dude, Johsua. You’re not in our class,” I said sassily to him, giving him a small punch on the arm.
“Yeah, well I feel like being here.” He sassily replied back.
“He’s here because he’s trying to get detention,” Dalton said, his eyes wide, naughtily smiling.
“Yeah, he doesn’t want to see his cousins that are coming over today,” said Lewis.
“Detention on the last day of school?” Jenny gave him a sideways look.
Joshua looked at her, his eyes widened. “Yeah, I know, isn’t it awesome?” He said sarcastically.
Gabriel chuckled. “Dalton had detention on the last day of school before.”
“Yeah, I know, it was fun!” He added sarcastically.
We chatted, noisily laughing and messed around until we came into math class. As soon as the bell rang to be in our seats, Joshua ran away to his class, which was in Mrs. Lockard’s with the other freshmen class that had Lewis’ friends.
Before math was over, Mr. Valentino sighed. “It’s gonna be sad when you guys come back. You won’t be getting another break until the end of the year.” The class murmured and groaned, smiling and giving each other sideways looks, and rolling their eyes. Jeremy puckered his lips and banged his desk, muttering something to Ashton behind him. “Yeah, this is high school. But at least you guys get the whole summer off at the end of the term. Then you’re not freshmen anymore.”
“But freshmen are awesome,” Jeremy commented out loud. A few kids muttered in agreement.
When math was over, I was just going to catch up with Gabriel, who was unfortunately walking with Sam to language arts, until someone approached me from behind.
Guessing who it was going to be, I sighed and turned, and faced Jessie. “Oh, I thought you were Dalton,” I said.
Jessie was looking at me with a concerned look.
“What?” I met her gaze.
“Lewis tells me he has no idea that Dalton’s a vampire,” she said in a confused tone.
My eyes widened and if I were at home, I would’ve kicked something. “What?! Oh, screw it all the hell! Where is he? I’m serious! He told me at the park exactly everything! Go get him. I’m serious, he told me, and-”
“Okay, okay, geez!” Jessie was yelling also. “Dude, I spoke with him while we were going to math, and I mentioned what you said about Dalton being a vampire, and him telling you that stuff, and he was like, ‘um, what the hell. Dalton’s no vampire, I never said that.’”
I was pissed, and I was glaring ahead of me, shaking my head. I cussed. “Damn him, I don’t know what he’s trying to do, but he seriously told me Dalton told him he was a vampire, and explained to me about him. What the hell.”
Jessie snickered. “Hey, to be honest, I probably wouldn’t have believed you if Lewis said so anyway. But-”
“Oh, shut up!” I yelled. “You just said you would believe me completely if Lewis said so! Or if anyone else besides me knew. I’m giving him hell when I see him.”
“Ooh, can I see?” Jessie said excitedly. “I wanna see his reaction.”
“Well, do you believe me at least a little still?”
“I just said before, I’m starting to suspect him. But I don’t believe you all the way yet.”
I sighed. “In language arts, try making Dalton laugh, or something, and see those teeth. He’s a vampire, and I know it. He sucked the blood out of Danielle.”
Since it was a Friday, we read our books for book reports in language arts. We had to have three classics read by the end of the year, with notes and paragraphs taken on them. This time, Mrs. Estelle didn’t let us move, so we were stuck in our tables. I looked to my right, and widened my eyes. Dalton’s book had a line of blood, as if a drop of blood had splashed onto the front cover, and trickled all the way almost to the end. He opened it before I could stare at it any longer.
I turned my eyes away, blinking, and glanced at Jessie. She and Nate were giggling; Nate annoyingly whispering at her and poking her with his pencil, and her poking back at him with her finger and giggling.
“You guys, shut up!” Dalton hissed, looking annoyed.
Jessie faced him and threw a piece of her eraser at him.
He blinked and threw it back.
“Nikki!” Nate whispered, snickering. I turned to him.
“Um, back tables!” Called Mrs. Estelle. “Nikki’s table? I’m gonna have to move you if you don’t stop talking.”
“Thought she said we weren’t allowed to move,” muttered Dalton sassily.
Finally, the bell rung and we were on break. Mrs. Estelle wished us a happy Christmas break, and we left the class.
“We only have like three weeks off!” Dalton said expressively behind me, to Ashton and Jeremy. I was looking around for Lewis, and caught him walking down the sidewalk alone. I ran up to him.
“Hey!” I called.
He stopped and turned, looking tired. “Sup Nikki,” he muttered.
“Why’d you tell Jessie you knew nothing about Dalton being a vampire?” I demanded as we walked on.
He winced at me, then turned away. “Nikki, we can’t let anyone know about Dalton being a vampire, especially Jessie. I don’t know why you even want her to believe you; it’s perfect that she had no idea.”
I faced him. “But….” But I had nothing to say. He was right. Why did I want Jessie to know he was a vampire? She would be no help about my feelings for him anyway.
“Seriously, Nikki, think about it,” he had a chuckle to his tone. “Would you really want a blabbermouth like Jessie to know about Dalton?”
“Well, she’s my friend. I tell her everything,” I replied tartly, looking down.
“Well, no one but me and my friends, as well as you, know about Dalton being a vampire,” Lewis was sounding serious now. “We can’t let anyone else know, alright? I never wanted you to know, but when I found out you knew I have to make sure you wouldn’t have anyone else knowing.”
“Why?” I asked, giving a sideways look. “You don’t want him getting exposed or turned in?”
“Yeah,” Lewis said in a “sort of” tone. “But we don’t want to have the entire school knowing vampires exist, and yeah, we don’t want Dalton getting into trouble.”
“But what if he’s been killing these people?” I said, concerned, then added quickly, “I mean, not that I want him to get in trouble, but what if he deserves it, for killing these people?”
Lewis sighed. “It’s a vampire’s job, Nikki. I know it’s hard, but you can’t let anyone know about Dalton. You know about it yourself, so don’t let anyone else know. Please.”
He met my gaze with serious, purple splotched eyes, the left one looking through strands of his hair. His long points that stuck out on the top two corners of his head seemed to slightly bend down at the top, as if he were feeling down, and the long points on the bottom two corners didn’t stick out as firmly as they did, they almost seemed to just hang there. I winced.
“You look…..tired, in a sad kinda way. You alright?” I asked.
He gave me a crooked smile. “Just a little tired. Haven’t been getting enough sleep lately. Don’t worry about me, I’m fine. You look stressed out yourself. Your hair is up in two stiff ponytails, all tangled up, and your eyeliner’s all splotched all over your eyes, and you’re dressed in black.”
I gave him a look. “I always look like this every day!” I nudged him.
Lewis chuckled. “Then you must be suffering every day. I feel bad for you.”
“Shut up. Your crazy hair make’s you look like a drunken perverted vampire yourself.” I said sassily. “Not to mention your eyeliner’s purple.”
Lewis smiled. “So? Hey, I’m gonna let you off with a secret.”
I leaned closer as we walked. “What?” I still felt confused and strange about Dalton, I felt like resting my head on Gabriel’s shoulder, so I leaned my head closer to Lewis, but as I did, I smelled his strange, but attracting cologne I remembered Dalton had once put on as well.
“There’s a house,” Lewis began, “that Dalton keeps all the dead bodies in. After sucking the blood out of someone’s body, he takes the corpse and hides it somewhere in this strange mansion where nobody lives in.”
I slowly turned to meet Lewis’s gaze. “You mean the one by…..Full Moon Street?” I have heard and walked passed a certain mansion, all alone behind the neighborhood houses on Full Moon Street. No one has ever lived there for years, and no one planned on living there. It wasn’t even for sale anymore.
He nodded. “He hides the dead bodies there since no one ever checks that place out, nor does anyone ever want to. It’s haunted….so it’s the best place to hide them.”
I blinked, my eyes slightly widened. “Weren’t there, like, two families murdered in that mansion?”
Lewis met my gaze, his eyes, for once, not narrowed, but widened and staring into mine. I almost backed away. “Yes,” he answered in an expressionless tone. “I can tell you why…if you’d like to know.”
I hesitated, then shrugged. “Sure?”
“Vampires,” he said dreadfully.
I winced. “What? You mean…”
“Yes. What? You think Dalton’s the only one? He’s not the first vampire to ever walk the Earth. There are others out there, though the ones who murdered the families were killed by a priest and religious materials.”
I didn’t know what to say, so I just asked a simple question. “Who was the priest?”
“Father Theodore,” he replied.
I widened my eyes. “That’s Ms. Fletcher’s father!”
Lewis whipped his head to me. “What?”
“Ms. Fletcher told us during notes one time, that her father is a priest, Father Theodore.”
“When did she tell you that?” Lewis sounded urgent and disturbed.
“It was before you joined our school. Like, somewhere at the very first week. She was introducing herself a lot.”
Lewis winced. “The vampires were killed a long time ago. Sixty-five years ago. Is her father that old?”
I blinked, confused. “Um, she didn’t mention that, but I guess he must be.”
Lewis looked away from me, facing the ground, wincing and looking confused. “He must be very old then.” He muttered, not to me.
I gazed at him. “Yeah, I guess so. Unless that was a different Father Theodore.”
“Hey, look. Delaney wanted to see me alone. I have to meet her. I’ll see you later, Nikki. I gave you my number before, right?”
I faced him, not wanting him to leave. “Yeah. Why you leaving? What does she want anyway?” I said grumpily.
“It’s……kinda private. Our business. You really wouldn’t be interested.” He didn’t meet my gaze, but he sounded urgent.
“Ugh, why do you have to just leave me all of a sudden? Like last time. Where are you meeting her anyway?”
“Just down the street, not far from here. Somewhere around this neighborhood. Chat with me on Facebook later on, kay?” He started walking away quickly. We were in my neighborhood right now.
I gave him a tired look. “Kay. Whatever. See ya.”
I watched him as he walked quickly away. I loved his style. Strange, but cool. He always wore that purple jacket with jagged points sticking out from the shoulders. It was open, not closed all the time like Dalton’s sweater. And it was always very clean. He had tight pants, and purple gloves that had sharp ends like cat claws. Actually, come to think of it, Jessica, Louise, Shawn, Justin, and Delaney all wore gloves with sharp ends. I guess that was one of the reasons why Dalton started wearing his gloves, besides to cover up his wounds; he wanted to be like Lewis and his strange friends, except his black gloves didn’t have sharp ends.
I stared at the ground, thinking about what Lewis had just told me. Dalton had hidden those bodies in that haunted mansion at Full Moon Street. Creepy. I suddenly wondered if I would find Danielle’s body, along with the other killed people.
“Hey, Nikki? One more thing I forgot,” a low voice startled me.
“Huh? What!” I gasped, looking up and facing Lewis again. “Whoa, you scared me, I almost died. How you get to me again so fast?”
“Listen, you’re not going to visit that house, are you?” He said seriously, ignoring my question.
I slowly shook my head. “No, I guess not.”
“And those vampires that were killed years ago? Well, one of them escaped, and wasn’t killed like the rest of them. He could be living in the mansion right now, or anywhere. We haven’t seen him, and neither has Dalton, but one of them is still alive.” Lewis looked into my eyes, scaring me with that scare again.
I looked back, biting my tongue. “Okay. Thanks for telling me, I guess. If that vampire’s still alive, nothing’s happened for sixty-five years, no one’s been killed, so he could not be around anymore anyway.”
“Yeah, but people have been killed by now,” Lewis reminded me.
“Oh, yeah, how could I be so stupid. But it still could be Dalton, as much as I don’t want to believe it.”
Lewis smiled at me. “That’s right. Just watch out. And don’t think you can stay away from him now that you guys are on break, he can still find a way to ask you out. You know he’ll be that annoying as to even jump into your window and ask.” He winked at me before turning to leave again.
I stared at him again as he left at a fast pace, and then made my way home, which was just two blocks away.

I got in trouble with my dad at the movies during Christmas break, three days after we just went off. I went with Jessie, Jenny, Gabriel, Lewis, and his strange friends. Dalton would’ve come with us, but he couldn’t make it for some reason.
Jeremy was annoying enough to make us take him and Ashton with us, so they came along also. Jenny had planned the whole thing, so she could ask Lewis out when the movies were over. Why did she plan going to the movies on a Monday? She said she was too impatient to wait until Friday, so we watched a really good horror film, and afterwards, when my dad came to pick me up, I made him mad, so he left me at the movies and went home.
He had told me he was in a rush to pick something up from his office at the scientists’ meeting, so he told me to get in the car quick, but I had to go to the bathroom, and he wouldn’t let me since it was too urgent, and they were going to cancel the delivery if we weren’t on time. After a brief argument that me having to go to the bathroom was urgent as well, he pulled my arm to the exit, and I yelled a cuss word at him, and he got mad and left without me. So I’m with my friends at the movies, pissed as hell.
“Douchebag, if he wants to get his delivery so bad, call me and tell he’ll be later since he has to pick up the damn thing, don’t come and complain to hurry up when he could just pick it up before.” I was standing by the bathrooms, arms crossed and looking angry. Lewis’s friends stood with me, with Ashton. Jessie and Jeremy were using the bathrooms.
Ashton laughed. “He probably thinks you should’ve gone to the bathroom before he came over.”
I shrugged. “Screw that, I drank a whole large coke, it takes a certain time until I have to pee it all out.”
Louise smiled. “Ha! Not all by yourself! Jeremy drank some of it also, as well as another entire cup. No wonder he’s in the bathroom.”
Jessica snickered. “Jessie drank an entire pepsi, that’s why she’s in the bathroom.”
Ashton rolled his eyes. “Jeremy barely shared any popcorn with me.”
Jessie came out of the bathroom. “Jenny just asked out Lewis!” She squealed.
Everyone ran over to her.
“Where? What did he say?” I asked excitedly.
“I don’t know! But I saw them both at the exit of the theaters, and they were facing each other. Let’s go and see!”
“Jenny’s coming,” said Delaney, looking over my shoulder.
We turned and saw Jenny approaching slowly, with a simple, casual look on her face.
I ran to her and everyone followed. “Did he say yes?”
She met my gaze simply. “Nah, he was too handsome for me.”
“What?!” Jessie nearly screamed.
My expression faded, and Louise started murmuring loudly to Delaney.
Jenny’s face suddenly brimmed with excitement. “Just kidding! Of course he said yes, I’m gonna scream every day with happiness!”
Louise gasped and ran over to her. “OMG, you are soooo one of us now! I can’t believe he really said yes! Seriously, I really doubted he would accept anyone asking him out unless it was Jessica.”
Delaney turned to Jessica. “You are okay with that….right?” She murmured.
Jessica raised her eyebrows, nodding. “Of course. I have no interest in him.”
“You’re interested in someone else aren’t you?” I said, giving her a sideways look.
She rolled her eyes and slightly blushed. “Duh, yeah. James will always be hot to me.”
Jessie gave her a quick glance. “Yeah, me too,” and she turned away. Jessica’s expression didn’t change.
“Hey, Nikki, your daddy’s here again,” said Shawn, chewing gum and staring out the exit.
“Darn it,” I said sarcastically. “I really wanted to spend the night here.”
Gabriel chuckled. “I bet you’ll be in trouble.”
I just shrugged. I watched as my dad honked his horn, knowing I already saw him.
I snickered. “Too lazy to get out and drag me.”
Louise snickered.
“Hey, dude, where’s Lewis now?” Justin asked.
“He went with Jeremy to get some gum,” said Jenny.
Jeremy was approaching with Lewis. “Hey, Nikki, is that your dad? You’re so dead,” he was chewing gum.
“I know,” I gave him a sideways look. Jeremy and I were like me and Edward together, except sometimes we didn’t taunt each other to show affection, though we didn’t hate each other either. We just thought it was fun to mess with each other. “See ya. I’ll text you about it.”
I hurried out the theaters and over to my dad’s van. As I approached, he had the windows rolled down in the front. “Get in the car. Now.” He said sternly.
I snickered, then frowned. “Whatever.” I got in the seat next to him and slammed the door hard.
“And give me your cell phone.”
“What?!” I yelled, glaring at him.
“Give me your cell phone, that’s the last time I’m giving you permission to be alone with your friends.” He was glaring back, and he reached out his hand towards me.
“No! You should’ve gotten your stupid delivery before picking me up! It’s your fault for complaining to have me hurry up!”
“Give me your phone! Now! You don’t cuss at me like that, so give me your phone!”
I angrily snatched my phone from my pocket and threw it at his head.
He grabbed it and gave me a push on my shoulder and I screamed angrily, kicking and thrashing around. He instantly sped away, muttering angrily under his breath.
“You want your phone back anytime soon? Huh?! Or do you want to be grounded as well?” He was yelling now, giving me fierce glances.
I rolled my eyes, muttering curses. Why do I act like such a three-year old when I get into trouble or fights with Kenneth? I even wonder.

It was the last Friday before Christmas break was over, and I banged at my dad’s door to his room.
“Dad! Jessie asked me to come with her, Jenny, and Analiese to the mall! And I’m not turning her down!”
“Go ahead!” He yelled back. He opened the door. “And take your phone with you. And I’m not picking you up this time.”
“Well, who’s gonna pick me up?!” I yelled angrily. “Edward’s with Ashton, James, and Jeremy, riding skateboards, and Jessie wants Lynn to come with us. And her car’s broken down!”
“I’m only going to have your mom drop you off, and you better ask Gabriel, or whoever to drive you home, or don’t go at all. I’m not putting up with last time again.”
“Why? You have no delivery this time,” I said sassily.
He glared at me. “You wanna go or not?”
I rolled my eyes and stomped to the front door. Dad drove Lynn and me to the Galleria Mall and dropped us off.
“So who’s picking you up? I’ve got Tyler picking me up, you probably don’t want him,” Lynn said.
I grimaced. “Of course not. I ain’t driving with one of Joshua’s friends. I’ll just call Gabriel.”
Gabriel agreed to picking me up, so we met with Jessie, Analiese, and Jenny, who were sitting on the benches, chatting noisily.
Analiese noticed me. “Hey, Nikki!” She called, giving me a sideways smile.
I gave her a sideways look and purposely didn’t respond to annoy her. I sat by Jessie.
“Hey, what the heck’s wrong with you? I texted you like five-million times! Why don’t you ever answer?” Jessie turned to me with concern.
I rolled my eyes. “My stupid dad took my phone away since the movies. I got it back today, and Gabriel’s picking me up since he doesn’t want to.”
“Your dad’s a total jerk sometimes!” Said Analiese, wincing. Then she smiled. “You are as well, but he starts it sometimes.”
“Yeah, he does,” I said sassily, giving her a sassy expression.
“Whoa,” Lynn said, staring over my shoulder. “Is that Dalton? What’s he doing here?”
I whipped my head to my right, and saw him approaching, looking tired and walking slowly, dragging his feet a little.
“He’s by himself,” Jenny muttered.
“Hey Dalton!” I called.
He turned and looked at us. He still had his eyeliner on, and he wore his lip piercing this time. He looked haunted and shocked as he stared at us with his eyeliner. I tried not to gasp as I noticed his bottom lip had a cut.
“Hey, get over here!” Jessie yelled, brimming with excitement.
“What do you want? Lewis is picking me up here,” he said, making his way over. He sat down next to me, sighing tiredly. I shifted my eyes over to him, wincing as I noticed he smelled of smoke.
Jessie leaned over to look at him. “Hey, so why did your girlfriend break up with you this morning?”
I almost exploded with surprise. Girlfriend?! I could kill anyone now, even him.
Dalton sighed, smiling. “Reasons, reasons,” he replied, not meeting Jessie’s gaze.
“Ugh, Dalton! But why?” Jenny looked at him with a dad, pleading expression.
“Yeah, you guys only went out for like, only a day!” Jessie added.
“She was too pretty for you wasn’t she?” Analiese said.
Lynn chuckled smoothly. “Or were you two cute for her?”
Dalton looked up, sideways smiling. “Yeah! She didn’t break up with me, I broke up with her. She asked if she wanted to have sex with me, so I broke up with her!”
I whipped my head to him, wincing. “Sex?! She asked something like that already?”
Dalton laughed, wincing. “Yeah, the other night, she asked me to have sex. And we were at the pool also!”
I bit my tongue till I was sure I tasted blood. I angrily swallowed it, wanting to suck the blood out of anybody right now, till they died. I was pissed….and jealous.
Jessie gasped, her face brimming with smiling. She got up and stood in front of him, smiling with excitement as she looked down at him. “You broke up with her because you knew you weren’t ready for that? I am so proud of you!” She squealed, grabbing both his forearms and shaking him excitedly. Dalton winced and tried yanking his arms from her.
Jenny came over and stood by Jessie’s side. “Dude! That’s like the smartest thing you’ve ever done!”
Lynn laughed. “Yeah, seriously. Good job Dalton.” She patted him roughly on the head, messing up his hair.
I stood up, joining Jessie’s other side, giving Dalton a stuck-up look, then faced Jessie. “You never told me about this. How come I didn’t hear about him even getting a girlfriend?” I faced him, looking pissed, and he met my gaze with wide eyes, looking scared. “Who was your girlfriend anyway?”
“Marianna Sanchez. She’s non-IB,” he said, sounding stiff. I didn’t care if I scared him, though his expression transfixed me and made me fall for him again.
“Nikki, she’s got blonde curly hair. She’s that girl you see during passing period, and she’s always wearing a pink headband with a bow.” Lynn told me.
“And she’s got big blue eyes,” Jessie snickered.
I looked up. “Ohh, I know her. She seems weird. She’s always laughing.”
“She’s kinda like Danielle, except she’s a little meaner and rude when she’s mad,” said Dalton, looking away, smiling.
Analiese noticed that, as well as me, and shook her head, sideways smiling. “You really liked her though, didn’t you?”
If Analiese had known I liked Dalton, I would’ve smacked her dead for saying that. I was close to doing it anyway, until Jessie started talking again.
She smiled at Dalton. “I’m just so proud of you! You knew you weren’t ready for sex, so you did the right thing and broke up! Uh! That was so brilliant of you!”
Dalton smirked at her, and looked away.
I gave Jessie a sideways look. “Jessie, you’re acting strange.”
Jenny giggled. “Yeah, I think you’re scaring him.” She looked at Dalton, who was staring to his left, his front hair looking messy and hanging down, as if he had just taken a shower.
Jessie stomped her foot. “I’m just so proud! Ugh, come here, you little…” she grabbed his shoulders and cooed as she tried pulling him over to hug him, but he struggled away.
“Ugh! Jessie! What the hell! Get away from me!” He got up and yanked himself away from her, and Jenny, Analiese, and Lynn started laughing. I just smirked, angry about his girlfriend, and admiring his attitude and expressions. I puckered my lips and kicked him at his foot.
He faced me. “I thought I told you, I sent you a text message,” he said, slightly smiling.
“My dad took my phone away. I didn’t hear about anything,” I shrugged.
“I sent you a text message, Nikki,” said Jessie. “When he went out with her on Wednesday, and when he broke up with her this morning. Gosh! I hate your dad also!”
“Yeah! I’m pissing him off tonight,” I smiled naughtily.
Suddenly, a super shiny dark purple Mercedes arrived at the side in front of us, and the windows were so dark and shaded, I couldn’t even see who was inside through them. I saw the license blade say, “Bite Me.”
“Oh, Lewis is here,” said Dalton, making his way over to the car.
The back window rolled open and Shawn and Justin looked over to us. “Sup, Nikki! Jessie! Jenny! People!” Justin called.
“Hey, Lynn!” Shawn waved at her. Lynn gave a sideways smile and waved back.
Jenny ran over to the front. “Lewis!” She muttered whatever she wanted to say to him. Dalton was getting in the back seat.
“Bye, Dalton!” Jessie called. “I’m proud of you!”
“Yeah, Dalton! We’re proud of you!” Analiese added.
“Yeah! So am I!” I called sassily.
As soon as he shut the door, Jenny said good-bye to Lewis and they sped away.
“Geez,” said Jessie, watching them go. “Watch the speed limit, jerks.” She turned to me.
“You’re not mad about Dalton, are you?” She said. “He broke up with her himself.”
I raised my eyebrows and shrugged. “Nah, I’m not mad. Just a little pissed that I didn’t get to hear about it since my dad took my phone away.”
We went shopping and had a great girls’ time, though my thoughts about Dalton with another girl troubled me. Not that I would ever ask him for sex at this age, I wasn’t concerned about that, but I was concerned about what he could’ve done to her. What if he really did get thirsty around her and sucked the blood from her? He had that strange cut on his lip, and he’d looked exhausted. He was only with her for a few days, and he could’ve done more than just break up with her. He was always suffering from not getting enough blood, it seemed like.
But then I thought- if he was always thirsty, but he was always with Nate and everyone, or with Lewis and his friends, he never sucked the blood out of them, and we’ve been off track, and I’ve been hanging around the park and the shopping center with them all, and no one I knew has died yet. He could’ve gotten thirsty enough to….eh, I didn’t want to think about it. I just shopped and had a great time with everyone.
By nighttime, I got in the car with Gabriel as he stopped by to pick me up.
Gabriel drove away, and chuckled as he saw me. “You look exhausted. Have a hard time picking out all those different clothes?”
I sighed. “Yeah, I guess,” I said sassily. “Thanks for picking me up, my dad’s too lousy. And guess what? Jessie was so stupid, she dropped her credit card at the end of the escalators. Smart, huh?”
Gabriel laughed. “I bet she started crying.”
“Almost, but she got a new one after that,” I laughed.
Then, I turned to Gabriel with a cold expression. “Dalton had a girlfriend. Did you hear about that?”
Gabriel took a second before speaking. “Yes, I got Jessie’s text message. She told pretty much everybody. Why?”
I shrugged. “He broke up with her this morning. I’m just mad my dad took away my phone and I heard nothing about it. Not even on Facebook or anything.”
“Well, it was only a short time. And he’s over with it now. Why did she break up with him?”
“He broke up with her because she asked to have sex with him,” I told him roughly.
Gabriel laughed. “That was why he broke up with her? Hehe, I wouldn’t have expected that.”
As soon as we reached my house, Gabriel stopped by at the side.
“Huh, strange that most of the streetlights seem to be turned off,” said Gabriel, wincing down the street.
“Yeah, like every other light is off. It’s so dark out here now,” I added.
Suddenly, I looked at the rearview mirror, and saw a dark figure slowly walking towards our car. I gasped and looked up at the rearview mirror on the ceiling, and saw the dark figure a little better. It was wearing a black sweater, and was walking with its head tilted to the right side, looking down so I couldn’t see the face. Its arms hung by its side, and the figure was walking slowly up to our car, just a few yards away from us. The pants were tight, dark, and I recognized the figure instantly- Dalton. I gasped and started breathing loudly. He looked so scary, making his way up to us this late at night. What could he be doing? What was he doing here? Could he be looking for me to ask me out, or….killing Gabriel? I was too scared to think straight.
Gabriel looked at me. “Are you okay? You ready to get out?”
I breathed louder and faster. “Yeah, yeah, I’m alright. I’m…alright. I just…I-I-”
Gabriel winced. “Do you want me to walk you up to your house?”
Dalton was approaching closer, still looking down with his head slightly tilted to the right side. No, I did not want to get out right now, and let him hurt Gabriel. Even though I couldn’t see his face, I could tell he looked thirsty. He seemed weak, from the way he walked, and I was sure he was thirsting for blood at this point.
I quickly shook my head violently. “No, no. I don’t want to go out there. Gabriel, there’s something out there….someone…” I stared at the mirror, watching with fear as Dalton was approaching closer and closer. “Um, Gabriel? Please drive away, right now. Please?”
“Nikki? Are you alright?” He sounded serious. “You having a panic attack, or something?”
Dalton was closer, about a yard away, but he was slowly getting closer, step and step. “No! I’m fine. Just please go. Drive. Go.” I was stuttering and shaking with fear.
“Nikki,” he sighed. “Just-”
“Just go,” I repeated a little firmer, keeping my eye on the mirror.
“Your house is right here, are you going to get out-”
Dalton was barely a foot away from right behind our car, and I was certain to have seen a drop of blood fall from his mouth.
“Goooooooo!!!” I screamed angrily, and Gabriel instantly sped away, and I saw that from behind, Dalton had stopped walking, and looked up, his eyes wide with dark eyeliner splotched over, and his teeth covered in blood. He gave a sideways smile at us as we sped away.
We were driving fast down the neighborhood, and as Gabriel slowed down a little, I gave a loud sigh.
“Huh! That was scary. I don’t know what he was doing here, he scared the hell outta me-”
“Um, do you mind telling me what your problem is?” Gabriel faced me and stopped the car.
I gasped. “Oh, gosh. Don’t stop the car, he’s gonna catch up to us, and we could die, omigosh, omigosh.” I was breathing, and freaking out, and I tried calming myself down.
Gabriel put a hand on my thigh. “Nikki,” he said sternly. “Calm down.” He leaned over, and we kissed for a moment, then I calmed down.
“Ugh, sorry,” I scratched my seat. “It’s just….I saw someone on the side of the street…….right behind us…..approaching us.”
“Who?” Gabriel winced.
I couldn’t tell him it was Dalton, he’ll suspect him and I didn’t want him knowing he was a vampire. “Uh…how should I know? It could be anyone! A stranger, an axe murderer, a robber, a vampire, a-”
“A what?!”
I cursed myself. “I mean- I meant-”
“You said it could be a vampire?” Gabriel was laughing, then he stopped. “Nikki, what’s wrong with you? Did you spray yourself with too much perfume?”
“No! I bet he’s catching up to us now. Someone was behind us, approaching our car, and I bet he’ll catch up to us soon enough!”
“Nikki, we didn’t have to drive away from that. What if it was a neighbor trying to tell you something? I’m driving back right now.”
“No!” I screamed, grabbing Gabriel’s hands as he grabbed the wheel. He turned to meet my gaze, looking irritated. “Gabriel, the person looked murderous, from the way he walked. And he wasn’t looking up, and I was sure I saw a drop of-”
“Did he have a knife in his hand?” Gabriel gave me a tired expression.
“N-no, but I was sure I saw a drop of blood drop from his mouth,” I leaned back, knowing I sounded stupid. I was too scared to think and talk straight. I was just too surprised to see Dalton approaching us like that. And that look he gave us when we sped away….
Gabriel sighed. “So you think he’s a vampire.”He rolled his eyes, smirking.
“Ugh! No! I didn’t say that!”
“Yes you did,” he sounded firm. “Now, are you going to tell me why, or not? Because I’m driving back right now.”
I couldn’t tell him it was nothing, or make up an excuse. Gabriel always knew when I was lying. I rolled my eyes. “If I get bitten, it’s your own fault,” I said roughly. “Okay. You better believe me since you asked for it, and you better not tell anyone.”
Gabriel sighed. “Whatever. Just hurry up and explain.”
So I explained to him about how I first saw him throw up a bunch of blood in the girls’ bathroom, and how he had looked so white afterwards, and how I had witnessed him kiss Danielle, and end up sucking out her blood. I also told how he had sun trauma, and how Lewis told me what he knew about him, and how he and his friends had first known Dalton was a vampire. I even showed him the pictures, and explained him with the gloves and the sweater. I told him everything, except for the mansion Lewis had mentioned, and the vampires killed years ago.
Gabriel’s expression didn’t change from his bored expression since I started talking. He just nodded after I showed him the pictures. “Hmm.” He murmured.
I whipped my head at him. “Do you even believe me?!”
“Well, are you sure Lewis isn’t just trying to pull your ponytails?” Gabriel chuckled. “And that Dalton doesn’t just happen to love the taste of blood in those pictures?”
I gave him a push on the shoulder. “Dammit! Look closely, you idiot! See those teeth? And how white he is?” I was fed up with no one believing me, even though I knew it was best no one knew.
“Yes, I see,” he laughed. “I’m so scared of him now. Hey, sorry if I don’t really believe you, but I’ll talk to Lewis sometime, and if he says what you say, then-”
“You can’t talk to Lewis,” I interrupted. “He doesn’t want anyone to know about it, so he’ll pretend he doesn’t know. Jessie tried talking to him, but he acted as if he had no idea. He only wants him and his friends to know about it, and doesn’t want me telling anyone since I found out myself. But you’re my boyfriend, so I trust you too. Jessie, I’m going to give up convincing her and make sure she keeps her feelings of not believing, though now, she half-believes me.”
Gabriel gave me a sideways look. “I half believe you. It’s just hard to believe that someone like Dalton could be a vampire. But how do Lewis and his friends even know in the first place?”
I didn’t meet his gaze. “I…don’t know.”
Gabriel tapped me on the shoulder. “Come on. Think back to when Dalton first turned into a vampire in the girls’ bathroom. You were the only one there, or were you? What caused him to even turn into a vampire? Think of what had happened before that, or what happened around that time.”
I said nothing for a moment, and then suddenly, I remembered one strange, scary night. “Well, remember that IB dance we had? Well, one of Joshua’s whore friends, Greg, was flirting with me, so I left the darn place, and drove away in Edward’s car, and nearly bumped into Dalton in the middle of the street, all the way at some alley, so the two of us walked home together since I had crashed the car.
“Then we met a group of street gangsters, and Dalton got into a fight with them, and then suddenly, someone had thrown a crowbar at one of their heads, and all of a sudden, I woke up in Lewis’s car. He said he had already taken care of Dalton, and then he took me home.”
Gabriel listened closely, and nodded. “You didn’t know what happened to Dalton around that time. What the hell was he doing all the way down that alley? And what could’ve happened when you lost him during the fight? Something could’ve happened that transformed him into a vampire around that time.”
I slightly laughed. “I’m sooo stupid for not thinking about that. I was so caught up in….uh….him asking me out and liking me that I wasn’t thinking about the deep details.” I didn’t want to mention I was caught up in liking him as well.
“Well, what do you think could’ve happened during that time that might’ve turned Dalton into a vampire?”
“I don’t know! I have no idea on how people become vampires.”
“They get bitten some way by a real vampire, and they turn into one. Don’t you watch Dracula?”
I sighed. “Well, maybe one of the gangsters could’ve been a vampire?”
Gabriel shrugged. “Could be. What about Lewis?”
“Oh, come on!” I said snappishly, though I smiled at him. “Lewis can’t be a vampire. I see no sharp teeth or anything suspicious on him, like drops of blood on his shirt, and he even wears his sweater open.”
“Heh, he’s very white, though. Even whiter than Dalton. But still, you should think about what’s happened around the fight and the dance. He wasn’t even at the dance, was he?”
“No, he wasn’t. But he appeared shortly before I left…..with Nate, William, Anthony, and some girl I think is a hooker. She was flirting with him, and that was why he had run away like I did,” I winced, thinking back about it.
“Well, maybe you should ask him about what he was doing on the night of the dance before he arrived, and after the fight with those gangsters. He might not tell you exactly that he became a vampire, or even how, but you can probably think about what he was doing, and think of some explanations for it.” Then he rolled his eyes. “Okay, I’m taking you home now.”
I gasped as I saw the rearview mirror. “Ahh! He’s here again! That stranger’s here!” I still didn’t want Gabriel knowing Dalton was here, I didn’t want him getting any ideas that he could be after him. I saw him approaching us slowly, step by step, his head tilted to the side, looking down.
“What!” Gabriel sounded annoyed.
“It’s some stranger! Just drive around, confuse him, then when we lose track of him, drop me home and drive away. He could be a killer!”
Gabriel frowned at me. “I’m not driving around. I’m getting out and asking why this ‘stranger’ is following us and what he wants.” Gabriel looked up at the rearview mirror on the ceiling.
“No! Why you wanna talk to a stranger? Just drive away!”
“Wait a minute! Isn’t that Dalton?” He was wincing at the mirror.
I widened my eyes. “No! No, that can’t be Dalton, I just saw him leave the mall with Lewis! Now take me home!”
“That’s Dalton!” Gabriel was frowning at me. Then he sped away, turning around a couple blocks, until we reached my house again.
He sighed. “Nikki, tell me the truth.”
I swallowed. Could Gabriel be suspecting Dalton wanted to kill him? Even though he didn’t entirely believe he was a vampire, he could still suspect.
“You really want to go out with Dalton, don’t you?” He looked at me, giving me a bored expression.
I met his gaze, widening my eyes in a frown. “What? You-”
“I know you like him, Nikki.” He said seriously.
I huffed. “Jessie. What a hussy. She told you, didn’t she? I’ll kill her before school begins this Monday, people will suspect the ‘killer’ that’s been killing everybody.”
“No, Jessie did not tell me.”
I faced him. “Nate? I’ll kill him anytime, whether he did or not. Or Lewis?”
“No, not Nate or Lewis. No one told me, I’ve known for a while myself. I’ve seen the way you look at him in art. And language arts. Even in science, I’ll hear you guys giggling or chatting when you’re not supposed to. You both get detentions at the same time for the same thing in Ms. Fletcher’s, and you’ve been sounding troubled around me lately, like something’s bothering you.”
I winced at Gabriel, knowing I couldn’t lie, for he always knew when I lied. “Well, Jessie likes Lewis, but she’s not planning on dumping James. And that’s not just because Jenny’s with Lewis! She loved him like crazy before that, but she never asked him out. If she really did plan to ask him out, she would’ve done it right away, but she didn’t. Just like-”
“But you want to ask him out,” Gabriel interrupted. “Don’t deny it, for you, it’s more than just crushing on him, you really want to ask him out. I know it. You think he’s hot. I bet you enjoyed taking those pictures of him.”
“Oh, shut up!” I turned away from him, frustrated. “It’s not like I want to dump you at all! I don’t want to leave you, even though I like Dalton at the same time!”
I faced him. “I’ve been worrying lately, about what Dalton would do to you, if I said no to him and stayed with you.”
Gabriel winced and chuckled. “What? You think he’s going to suck the life outta me?”
“Yes,” I replied seriously. I turned away. “But I still don’t want to break up with you, as much as I want to go out with him.”
It was silent for a moment, and I was aware of Dalton suddenly appearing behind us again, for vampires travel fast.
Gabriel sighed. “Well, then, I guess it’s best if we’re not together then.”
I whipped my head to him. “You’re breaking up with me?!” I nearly screamed.
Gabriel met my surprised gaze. “Nikki, you like Dalton too much for me. And plus, I really do believe you a little when you tell me he’s a vampire, so I understand the way you want to keep me away from him. It’s stressing you out, Nikki, I can tell. I don’t want our relationship to stress you out and confuse you whether to break up with me to keep me ‘safe,’ or stay with me so I don’t feel betrayed that you like Dalton better. So I’m breaking up with you myself. I’m letting you know that I don’t feel betrayed that you like Dalton, and I’m freeing you from your confusion. You’re free to-”
“No! How are you letting me know that you’re okay with having me love Dalton when you break up with me?!” I was breathing hard, crying and yelling at the same time. “You can’t break up with me! No! We’re not breaking up! No! No! Noooo!!!” I was stomping both my feet and yanking my ponytails.
“Nikki! You wanna stay together and let me possibly get killed later?”
“Sure! At least it’s better than breaking up and seeing you uselessly alive for no good reason for me! At least we can enjoy being together for a short time than be apart for a long time!”
“You’re forgetting Dalton! You’ll be with him, and now you’re free to stop worrying about whether to go out with him or not. I’m breaking up with you myself, so it doesn’t have to be so hard for you to do it before he kills me. I’ll still love you, Nikki.”
“No, shut uuuuuuppp!!!” I screamed, crying as I yelled. “I don’t want to break up with you! No! You think you can just dump me just because someone else likes me and will kill you for it?!”
“That’s what you were thinking of doing! But you weren’t doing anything about it for a long time, you were trying to avoid it, but now you’re single and free to go do what you want with Dalton, and I won’t be killed, just like you wanted!”
“I’ll tell you what I’ll do with Dalton!” I leaned to his face, glaring at him through my dark eyeliner, the bottom lashes slightly drooping from the tears, though I could tell my glare scared him. “You know what I’ll do with freakin’ Dalton? I’m gonna say no to him when he asks me out, then I’m gonna kiss his beautiful face, and make sure he bites the hell outta me so I can drop dead and make both you whores miserable for even wanting to have anything to do with someone like me!”
“No, Nikki, don’t do that, you can-” Gabriel sounded reasoning, and he put a hand on my shoulder, but I grabbed it and dug my sharp black nails into it, and threw it at his face.
“Ow! Nikki! Seriously!” He yelled. He banged his seat. “Don’t hurt yourself! I will still feel the same way for you when you’re with him, trust me! This is better than having you tell me to break up and getting me upset for the reason why!”
I instantly and automatically slapped him hard against the face, feeling like an animal, and banged his head hard against the window, screaming cusses.
He yelled and pushed me back, and I hit my back against the door, and grabbed a magazine on the floor and ripping it up, throwing it at him, screaming angrily. He scooted away, wincing.
I turned and shoved the door open and slamming it behind me, shaking the car as it shut. I yelled a cuss word at him, and kicked at his car, scraping my fingernails harshly against it, creating scratches. He backed up, and sped away and I yelled a cuss word after him, then I stomped madly to my house, not looking back.
I banged my door.
“OPEN UP!!!” I screamed angrily, tears streaming down my cheek. I could feel the think eyeliner.
I continued to bang and bang harder and harder, until the door suddenly whipped open, and mom looked at me with surprise as if she thought I was in danger.
“Nikki, what’s wrong-” she gasped, but I ran right passed her, passed Jack, who sat at the bottom of the stairs, and stomped up the stairs, cussing roughly under my breath. When I reached upstairs, I glared down and saw my mom peek out the door and wave before shutting the door. Don’t wave to that good for nothing redneck. I ran into my room and slammed my door as hard as I can.
I kicked my swivel chair out of the way, making it hit my closet harshly. I screamed angrily and took my radio on the floor and threw it at the wall, breaking it into large pieces and threw my CDs everywhere, breaking some of them. I screamed again and fell back onto my bed, and let the tears fall. I started going crazy like I was possessed in my room, throwing anything I found, and broke anything that could be broken, ripping up my clothes, screaming at the top of my lungs, kicking my bed and buried my face in the blankets, screaming like a two-year old kid.
“Nikki?” There was a soft knock at the door. It was dad. “Are you alright?”
“Shut up! Go awaaayyy!” I screamed, taking a CD on my bed and throwing it at the door.
“Did Gabriel say something to you?” My mom called soothingly.
“No he didn’t! I said go away!” I cussed at them and shot up from my bed and went up to my door, kicking it three hard kicks. As soon as I heard their murmuring voices die away, I banged my head at my door a number of times, hitting harder and harder until I felt like my head would crack open. I leaned my head against the door, and slowly lowered to the floor, until I sat with my head against the door. My hair was messy from pulling at my ponytails, and they hung down from the bottom of my head instead of the top. I closed my eyes and cried quietly until I washed out the eyeliner from my eyes.

We were back in school on Monday. It was January already, and the day Gabriel had broken up with me had been three days after New Year’s Eve. I was drowsy, heartbroken, and careless. I came to school with messy eyeliner and a dead look on my face. My hair was down for the first time, and it was actually very long when it wasn’t in two high crazy ponytails, and slightly passed my hips. It looked jet-black and frizzy since I didn’t bother brushing it. I leaned against the wall next to Ms. Fletcher’s door, away from the group of people.
I felt their gazes at me, and I heard them mutter at the way I look.
“Nikki’s wearing her hair down,” I heard Jeremy say. “She looks emo.”
“Shut up, she looks pretty with her hair down,” I heard Analiese snap. “If she brushed it.” She added quietly.
I wore black tights again, and a black long sleeved shirt that wrapped around me tightly. I heard Ashton say I looked like Delaney, except the clothes were all black. Delaney did wear tight clothes.
I also wore my lip piercing because I felt like it, not caring if I was going to get in trouble by stupid Ms. Fletcher. Why did everyone like that stupid blonde teacher anyway? She was sarcastic to me and treated me like I didn’t know anything, and acted all fun a happy with the other students. She can bite me and piss off.
Sam and Gabriel were there, and I didn’t dare look at them. I didn’t look at anyone. I sighed and closed my eyes. I thought about Dalton. I expected to not have the same feelings for him now that I finally did break up with Gabriel, but as I thought of his naughty smile, that he really did blush when we talked and laughed, the way he put on dark eyeliner and got a lip piercing to look like me, the way his eyes grew wide whenever he was surprised or annoyed, I just couldn’t resist. The more I thought of him now, the better I felt, and the less I thought of Gabriel’s break up. I was ready for him to ask me out. I smiled and licked my upper lip as I thought of being his girlfriend. I wasn’t scared of him biting me. He could taste my blood all he wanted.
“Eyyy, Nikki! Wassup, girl!”
I opened my eyes and faced Joshua. He was smiling his stupid naughty smile at me.
“Oh, it’s you,” I said tiredly. “Have you seen Dalton? I need to see him.”
“Nah, I heard you broke up with that dumbass Gabriel!” His smile grew. “I’m proud of ya, Nikki! That’s my girl! So you gonna take me back?”
I gave him a sideways look, looking tired. I took his hand and brought it close to me, then puckered my lips and threw it at him.
“Ah! What the hell! You taking me back or what?”
“What do you think?” I said slyly. “I don’t plan on taking Gabriel back, so if I don’t plan on taking him back, what makes you think I would take you back?”
Joshua groaned and rolled his eyes. “He broke up with you because you too sexy for him! And you’re more of my type, so come on, get freaky with me again!” He grabbed my shoulders and pulled me to him.
From the corner of my eye, I saw the crowd watching, and Gabriel approaching.
I met Joshua’s gaze, giving him a sideways smile. “Actually, I’m thinkin’ about taking you back, though I’m not ready just yet.”
Joshua’s eyes widened. “Really?” He sounded serious now.
Gabriel came over and gave Joshua a push, making him let go of me.
“Hey, douchebag,” Joshua snapped, facing him, wincing,
“What are you doing? Stay away from her,” Gabriel snapped back.
I narrowed my eyes at him. He knew I was wanting to ask out Dalton.
Joshua gave him a sideways look. “Psh, you stay away from her, homie. She ain’t with you anymore.”
“That’s right, and she’s not taking you back,” Gabriel glared at him.
“Oh yeah?” Joshua laughed obnoxiously. “That ain’t what she said, right Nikki, babe?”
I rolled my eyes and faced Gabriel. “Yeah, that’s right. I told him I’m thinking about it.”
Gabriel winced. “What? No, you can’t go out with him.” I knew he was wanting me to ask out Dalton like I had planned, as much as I saw the misery in his eyes for breaking up with me.
Joshua gave him a push. “Hehe, jealous, enough? I’m much better at taking care of girls than you, you bitch!”
“Yeah? You were only out with her for how long? A month? Before you turned into a gangster jerk?” Gabriel gave him a look. He turned to me with a look of sorrow on her face. “Nikki, I’m sorry I had to break up with you, but-”
Joshua pushed him. “Hey, don’t give her that mushy stuff. There’s no reason you had no break up with her, it was a stupid choice! Well, guess what? Now she’ll take me back and-”
“Oh, shut up, Joshua!” I yelled. “I’m not taking you back, and you know it!” I faced Gabriel. “And you know what?” I smiled. “You can apologize all you want, but I’m not forgiving you. And Joshua? You can bug me all you want, but I’m never taking you back, even if I’m single for the next fifty years.” I turned to Gabriel. “So you can just find another girl to go out with, and you,” I turned to Joshua, “can just stick with all the different bitches you already have. I’m not forgiving or taking either of you back!” And I smacked both of their surprised faces and walked away, looking for Dalton, not looking back.
I found Dalton hanging out with Nate, William, and Anthony. I couldn’t find Lewis and his friends. But when I got into science, I was surely going to ask him what he was doing at my street the other night.
When the bell rang, I sat in my seat with my dead look again, and glanced at Dalton as he sat next to me. He still had the eyeliner and the cut lip.
“Hey, what were you doing by my house the other night?” I asked, wincing at him.
He looked at me, wincing back. “I wasn’t at your house the other night!” He sounded confused.
I rolled my eyes. “You don’t remember? You were behind Gabriel’s car when he dropped me off on Friday.”
He looked away, wincing. “I went to Nate’s house after Lewis dropped me off. I was never at your street.”
I narrowed my eyes. I noticed he had turned red again. I didn’t know whether it was from me, or he was hiding something, or both. “It was at night. You were walking up to us like a dead person, you scared the hell outta me.”
“Maybe I was sleepwalking,” he said, looking down. “’Cause I did wake up Saturday morning in the middle of the street in front of my house.” Then he added quickly, “but how could I have gotten from your house all the way to mine?”
I stared into him. “I know it was you, you had your gloves and black sweater.”
“Alright, can I have everyone’s attention please?” Ms. Fletcher announced before Dalton could reply. “We have lost another student at this school, haven’t you guys heard?”
The class murmured, and some people said no.
“Who was murdered this time?” Jeremy said aloud.
“It was a girl from non-IB,” said Ms. Fletcher, raising her eyes. “Her name was Marianna Sanchez.”
I gasped, as well as some other people who knew her. Dalton’s girlfriend he had recently broken up with! I slowly turned to him, and he had his eyes wide, but I saw him bite the cut on his bottom lip.
“Again?” I hissed to him.
He quickly faced me. “What?”
“Another person killed! This school hates us, or what?”
“Oh, yeah, probably,” he replied, sounding scared.
I turned away from him, deep in my own thoughts, not listening to Ms. Fletcher’s talk about what they had found, just knowing that Dalton’s recent ex-girlfriend was dead- killed, and I could bet it was because of him.
“Her parents called this morning and said they were going to arrange her funeral, but couldn’t find her body anywhere, after they had left her at the skateboard park,” Ms. Fletcher said seriously.
“The murderers could’ve dumped her body somewhere!” Jenny said.
“They could have,” Ms. Fletcher nodded.
That did it. Dalton had done it, and I was certain of it. He had hidden the bodies in the mansion, according to what Lewis told me. But why? I wondered why he would bother taking the bodies when they were already known to be dead anyway. I was burning with concern now.
When the bell rang for next class, Ms. Fletcher called for me.
“Nikki? Can I see you please?” She asked nicely.
I bit my tongue. “Sure,” I said quietly. I walked passed all the noisy students walking out the door. I felt Jessie’s gaze watch me as I left her.
Ms. Fletcher was standing by the front desk, looking through papers. She turned to me.
“Hi, Nikki,” she said in a friendly tone.
“Hi,” I replied tiredly.
“Just wait a minute, the class is waiting outside.” She walked over to let her next class in, and I saw Joshua give me a naughty face and the finger. I made a face back and gave him the finger back. He sat where Jessie sat, next to Louise as his science partner.
“Okay, if you can whip out your lab questions and go over them with your partners? I’ll be a minute,” she announced. Then she headed back to me and took me behind the big agenda board and started talking quietly.
“Okay, I’ve been noticing that you and Dalton enjoy being science partners, am I right? Am right, am I?”
It was obvious that she knew, so there was no point in lying. “Yeah,” I shrugged. “He even started wearing makeup like me.”
“I noticed that,” Ms. Fletcher raised her eyes. “He even got a lip piercing didn’t he? And you’re wearing yours today, aren’t you?”
“Yeah,” I said, meeting her gaze.
“Your hair looks really pretty when it’s down,” she smiled. “Why don’t you ever wear it down?”
I shrugged, giving a sideways look. “I look too much like the opposite person I really am, I guess.”
Ms. Fletcher raised her eyebrows. “Is that right? You still look the same to me, since you’re wearing that dark eyeliner and lip piercing.”
“That’s what everyone else says,” I said. What was the point of this conversation? What was she trying to do?
“Well, it’s fine if you don’t see it,” she said. “You see, when I was your age, I was a cheerleader, but I was still friends with all the goth people and went out with all the jocks and popular guys. Kinda like you, right?” She winked.
I slightly winced. “Um, yeah? I guess, I don’t go out with Gabriel anymore.”
“Yeah, I heard that,” she said softly. “I’m not going to make you talk about it, but-”
“How’d you hear?” I couldn’t help interrupting.
She met my gaze, her eyebrows raised. “You guys all talk so loud in front of my classroom, I can hear you like you’re in here. I heard Jessie talk about it, Jenny says it, I heard the whole crowd out there laughing and chatting. I heard Joshua’s voice, but not every single word he said though.”
I nodded, looking down.
“Okay, now to the reason why I called you here. I see a lot of you people in this class holding hands, as well as the other freshmen class, but I always see more in this class. I see you and Gabriel holding hands, Jessie and James, Jeremy and…..different girls each time, Lewis and Jessica, Lewis and…Jenny this time? Well, I see you holding different boys’ hands besides Gabriel-”
“Really? Who?” I tested her, making sure she wasn’t just making guesses- lucky guesses.
She gave me a sideways look. She looked sassy when she made that look since she had wide blue eyes and long blonde hair. “You know who. Ashton, Jeremy, James, even Lewis once in a while. But, have you and Dalton ever held hands? I ask that you don’t misjudge me for trying to butt in your relationships, because that’s not what I’m trying to do.”
I stared at her, then slowly shook my head. “Okay, no. We haven’t held hands yet.”
“And why’s that? The both of you seem closer than the boys you do hold hands with. And you’re always laughing with each other.” She was giving me a serious look.
I hesitated. “I don’t know. I guess it’s because….”
“Tell me the truth, Nikki. The exact truth.”
“Well, I really don’t want to get Gabriel’s hopes up, but now that we’re not together, I think it could be different.”
“That’s not the exact truth. Why is it that you seem scared of him as well as admiring him?”
I winced at her. So she even noticed how I looked at him. Was she some kind of stalker? I was starting to get annoyed. “I don’t know! I was confused whether to accept that he was going to ask me out or stay with Gabriel?”
Ms. Fletcher sighed. “That’s still not the exact reason. You’re wasting your time telling me personal stuff.”
I winced. “What? You’re asking me to tell you the truth.”
Ms. Fletcher gave me a serious look, looking into my eyes. “You know he’s a vampire, don’t you?”
I kept my expression the same as I stared at her, though I nearly choked with disbelief. I shook my head, and took a step back from her, narrowing my eyes.
“It’s alright, I’ve known for a while myself, Nikki,” she said.
I bit my lip. “How? You- why do you always know everything I know? Do you spy on me?! Do you stalk me? I’m sick of this!”
“No, I do not stalk you. I have eyes everywhere, like I said. I wasn’t just poking at you when I say stuff like that. But I know Dalton’s a vampire for a reason. My father used to be a priest, and his name was Father Theodore.”
I gasped. “Hey, wait. Can I ask you something? I heard there were vampires who killed two families at the mansion by Full Moon Street, but those vampires were killed by a priest named Father Theodore. Is… your father the same one?”
Ms. Fletcher blinked at me, looking me in the eye. “Yes, he was. He killed those vampires sixty-five years ago.” Before I was about to ask, she already answered. “No, he’s actually not that old. He was about twenty when he killed them. See, after he killed the vampires, they were all dead, except one escaped. That one was called Leonardo Horriston, and he took revenge on my father, so when my father was dying from a sickness, he was powerless towards vampires with his religious materials at the moment. So on his bed, Leonardo appeared at his side and bit into him, but he didn’t get a chance to let the bite kill him completely. The doctor that was taking care of him came into the room and scared Leonardo off with a cross, and my father was left with a bloody red curve on his neck where Leonardo had bitten. It is still there right now. But my father had turned into a vampire then, for the bite wasn’t too powerful enough to kill him yet, so it mixed in and turned him into a vampire. After he got better, he couldn’t be a priest again.”
I blinked, then said, “So, if he was a vampire, and that’s why he’s been alive for so long and hasn’t changed, are you……”
“Me?” She guessed my question and laughed. “No, I’m not a vampire. But I do have vampire blood in me. My father married the doctor that saved him from Leonardo, and my mom wasn’t a vampire, so my two older sisters and I are half, sort of, though we’re more human and just have vampire blood in us. We don’t thirst for blood or have white skin or fangs, or anything like that, we are just humans with vampire blood in us, that’s all. No need to be scared of me about that.”
I slightly smiled back. “So how do you know Dalton is a vampire?”
Ms. Fletcher’s expression suddenly changed and she became serious. “Do you really want to know? I witnessed him becoming a vampire.”
I widened my eyes, frowning. “You saw him choke and cough up blood in-”
“No, no.” She chuckled. “I saw who bit him.”
I looked at her. “Really?” I said quietly, feeling excited to hear how he really became one.
She nodded. “It was on the night of the dance.”
I gasped. “I knew it! And about your father, Lewis told me about that, including the haunted mansion where the vampires were. I wonder if Leonardo could actually be back. Lewis did tell me that there was one that escaped, I bet you saw him bite Dalton and turn him into a vampire?”
Ms. Fletcher was shaking her head slowly, keeping her unblinking serious eyes on me. “Lewis is a vampire also.”
My expression faded, and I felt my blood run cold as if a vampire had bitten me. “What?” I said vaguely, biting my tongue.
“Nikki, I know Lewis is a vampire. I saw him. He bit into Dalton’s shoulder when he rescued you both from the fight with those gangsters. I witnessed it. He threw the crowbar at one of their heads, and told the others to beat it. He took you to his car at the gas station first, then went back for Dalton. He was wounded; one of the gangsters had shot him in the side-”
“What?! They did?”
“Yeah, you had passed out and Lewis had you in his car, and Dalton was still lying on the ground, passed out as well. By the time Lewis had come back, one of the gangsters had come back and was standing over him with a gun aiming at him. He shot him in the side, and instantly, Lewis ran at full speed, he was just a blur to me, and he pounced on the gangster, sucking the blood from his throat, killing him. I was shocked.
“I was scared for Dalton, for I saw Lewis bend over to him, and quickly bite into his shoulder. After a moment, Dalton had woken up, and Lewis helped him up and the two of them walked away, their voices low. I didn’t want to call the police, for I was part vampire myself, not just some regular person witnessing a rare scene. But the police found out anyway, of course.”
“Wait, the police only found the other guy’s body. They only found the one that was hit by a crowbar. They said nothing about the body Lewis sucked.” I said.
Ms. Fletcher sideways smiled at me. “Well, I would bet Lewis might’ve come back to hide the body in….the mansion maybe?”
I made a face, half smiling. “I guess. So you know about hiding the bodies in the mansion, huh? And how did you see all this?”
Ms. Fletcher chuckled. “I guess you could say I was spying on you this time. I saw you run out of the dance room and drive away in your brother’s car. Then, a few minutes later, Dalton ran away from this inappropriately-dressed girl, heading the same way you had gone. I was suspicious for both of you, so I followed your way in my car, looking for you, and followed Dalton, and lost him around that alley you guys were in. I got out and dared to look around, and didn’t find you until I heard yelling from the fight.”
I was looking down, biting my lip. “So….Lewis is a vampire? That can’t be! I see his teeth, they aren’t sharp!”
“Oh, he’s got sharp teeth,” she smiled. “Trust me. Look closer. I know he doesn’t open his mouth wide enough so that it’s noticeable, but he’s got fangs. The longest ones are in the back, and once you see them, you’ll know they are fangs, they’re longer than Dalton’s. And I bet Dalton’s got a nasty scar on his side and shoulder, Lewis bit him there since it won’t be a noticeable place to see.” She met my shocked gaze. “Yes, Nikki. He’s a vampire. And so are all his other scary friends as well.”
“No kidding,” I made a face. “They are vampires also? Jessica, Louise, Shawn, Justin, and Delaney?”
She widened her eyes. “Yep, I’ve seen their teeth after school. I once witnessed them hanging out by Mrs. Estelle’s class, and Louise was licking her fangs. I couldn’t doubt that the rest of them were vampires as well. They’re all pale white, sharp gloves, though I don’t get what is it with the gloves, as well as the crazy hairstyles.”
I didn’t chuckle with her. I was too shocked for words. I couldn’t believe there were more out there besides Dalton, in our own school! And they had to be Lewis and his friends.
“I’m sorry if I’m scaring you like this, Nikki,” Ms. Fletcher apologized.
“Nah, I’m glad you’re telling me this,” I didn’t meet her gaze. “But….then who was it who killed Mrs. Yoselinda, and those kids, and the-” I stopped. I knew Dalton killed Marianna and Danielle. I bet I could trust Ms. Fletcher, but I couldn’t bring myself to speak and tell her what I knew.
Ms. Fletcher gave me an understanding look. “Dalton killed Danielle and Marianna, you know that, don’t you?”
“Um, yeah, but I can’t be sure……” I knew he did anyway.
“Well, I can’t tell you who killed the rest of them, I can’t tell you everything. But I really don’t know anyway.” She said. “Now, I’m telling you this because I know you’ve known. And now that you’re not with Gabriel, I understand you and Dalton may possibly go out now. So I’m just telling you what I know, and giving you a heads-up. I thought you might’ve known Lewis was a vampire also.”
I raised my eyebrows. “Hehe, no I did not. Thanks for telling me. Hey, you don’t think him or his friends could’ve… know, killed the others?”
Ms. Fletcher raised her eyebrows. “I really don’t know, Nikki. If I knew, I would’ve somehow done something, I don’t know what, but as long as they’re truly not killing anyone, I’m not going to bother them. But someone’s doing it, and when I find out who, I’m turning them in.”
“But…you haven’t turned Dalton in. And I know he killed at least Danielle and Marianna.” And I could be next maybe.
“Well, lately, Dalton’s been looking sickly and weak, as if he couldn’t help it since he’s not getting enough blood.”
“He has-”
“Sun trauma, I know,” said Ms. Fletcher. “I know about stuff like that.”
“Lewis told me about it.”
Ms. Fletcher winced. “Has he told you any other things about Dalton being a vampire?”
I nodded. “He knows I know, so yeah. He told me Dalton hides the bodies he kills in the mansion, and about how he was the first one Dalton told he was a vampire.”
Ms. Fletcher blinked. “Nikki, I don’t think you should trust Lewis anymore. If you have any questions, don’t count on him, because I think he may be trying to make you think Dalton is the one killing everyone in school. He may be trying to hide that he’s the vampire.”
I stared at her, and nodded. “And that he could be the one killing everyone instead of Dalton.”
“Exactly, you better keep an eye on him as well as Dalton. I know you think Dalton is all that and good-looking, but you really should pay attention to Lewis as well.”
I smiled. “I can do that. I think Lewis is nice to look at as well.”
Ms. Fletcher chuckled. “That hair freaks me out. Craziest hair I’ve ever seen. I’m not asking you to be a stalker; it’s just that I want you to keep an eye on him if you want to know the truth like me. He’s a great student and all, he aces every test and everything I give him to work on, he’s amazingly super smart, but I still suspect him more than Dalton.”
“Yeah, I will. But Ms. Fletcher, if you know who’s the vampire in here, why don’t you tell anyone or let them know so they can stop murdering from time to time?”
Ms. Fletcher gave me a sideways look. “I don’t want to get them mad at me for knowing, or kill whoever in the school for knowing.”
“But they know I know-” Then I stopped. Lewis may not be planning to kill me since I knew, but if anyone else found out because of me, who knows what he might do? And what if he was planning to kill me soon? Hopefully not, he and I have become like friends, and I knew his friends pretty well, hopefully they wouldn’t get mad and turn on me.
“You never know. Just be careful,” she said seriously. “The next time a student gets killed, I’m going to talk to the class about vampires- in an upcoming way. I’m gonna sound like I’m just making up ideas. The principal’s already making teachers call home to their most troubled students in the class. He’s really worried about what’s going to happen. The police have been here a couple times to investigate, but no one’s going to suspect it’s a vampire.”
“Yeah,” I replied. “But wait, Lewis is very sharp. He notices everything. He even noticed that I liked Dalton and knew he was a vampire ever since I did start suspecting Dalton.”
Ms. Fletcher’s eyes shifted away from me. “I don’t know about that. You don’t have to keep your eyes glued to him the whole time, just notice anything about him that could be suspicious, or maybe even talk to him about vampires and see what he tells you, but don’t believe it, think about it. And you can always see me after school for anything you’d like to know. I know we haven’t been the best of friends with each other since you’re always getting detention,” she winked at me, “but you’re always welcome to talk to me about anything whenever you like.”
I nodded. “Yeah, thanks.”
She smiled. “Let’s get you back to class, you’re in Mrs. Lockard’s right now, right? You can use this door over here to get to her class.” She led me to a door in the corner and I left.
I popped into Mrs. Lockard’s where it was talkative and noisy as usual. Dalton was sitting with Nate at his table, where he sat with Lewis, laughing with them.
Nate noticed me. “Sup, Nikki! Were you in trouble?”
“Sure, yeah!” I said back. “I’m seeing her after school!”
Lewis and Dalton turned to me.
“Why?” Asked Dalton, a naughty smile on his face from laughing with Nate and Lewis.
I shrugged. “She knows everything I do. She knows I broke up with Gabriel!”
Lewis winced. “Embarrassing. She probably heard you guys.”
Lynn was helping out with Mrs. Lockard, and was passing out paper towels since everyone was painting. She walked behind Lewis and shoved the back of his head forward.
“Ah!” He turned to her, wincing.
She gave him a sly look. “That’s for stealing from me in my backpack.”
Nate laughed. “What d’you steal from her?”
Lewis gave him a sideways look, the right side of his face covered s little with strands from his hair. “Tampons,” he replied quietly, giving his crooked smile.
I whipped my head to him. What in the hell? I could think of what he could be doing with tampons after what Ms. Fletcher had told me just now.
Nate winced, and started laughing. “What the heck! Why the hell would you want to steal tampons from her?”
I came over, laughing, though wincing. “Yeah, and since when did Lynn have tampons?”
He grimaced at me, not looking scared at all. He shrugged. “Eh, just to steal something from her.”
Dalton snickered. “No, your tongue was bleeding. Very badly!”
Nate laughed obnoxiously at him.
Lewis grimaced and gave Dalton a push. “Shut up.”
I looked at him. “Your tongue was bleeding?”
“Yeah, it was!” Dalton said for me. “Like crazy! It was already bleeding before, now it’s just a scab.”
“But then I bit it on accident,” said Lewis. “Nate kicked my chair.”
“Haha, can I see?” I said in the most happy way I could.
“Nah, it’s not bleeding anymore,” said Lewis.
“Yeah, I wonder why, Lewis. I wonder why,” said Nate sarcastically.

After school, I walked home with Jessie, talking about what was going on in school. Jeremy was planning to ask Tess out, and Analiese was secretly upset, I could tell. Of course, Jeremy liked Jenny, but she was already with Lewis, and I was scared for her now. Then, it just slipped out and I told Jessie what I was going to do later on.
“Yeah, I’m checking out that mansion tonight, see if Dalton’s really behind this mess,” I said.
Jessie whipped her head to me. “What? You mean the one on Full Moon Street?”
I sighed. I already said it. “Yeah, Lewis told me Dalton hides the bodies he kills in that mansion, and I want to see if I can find other bodies besides Danielle’s and Marianna’s.”
“Wait a second! You think he killed Marianna?” Jessie gave me a sideways look.
“Yeah! When Ms. Fletcher mentioned that Marianna was killed, I saw Dalton bite that cut on his lip, and he was shaky when I mentioned it.”
“Well, he misses his old girlfriend! It doesn’t mean he murdered her! Wouldn’t you be shaky if Gabriel was murdered? Oh yeah, hehe, you aren’t with him anymore.”
I huffed. “I wanna see if I’ll find any bodies there besides Danielle’s and Marianna’s. Lewis tells me Dalton hides bodies there after he sucks the blood. I don’t know if he’s telling the truth, but I wanna see what I can find.”
“Lewis doesn’t believe Dalton’s a vampire,” she said, laughing.
I rolled my eyes. “Yeah, that’s what he wants you to think. Trust me, Jessie, I know what I’m doing. If I find other bodies there, I might believe Dalton really did it.” Unless Lewis put the bodies there himself, I can’t be sure, but there was one way I could tell. If I saw two big dots and the rest small in the middle, I knew those were Dalton’s teeth that had bitten in, for he had two fangs in the front, and the rest were just small and sharp. If the two dots were at the end, it would have to be Lewis, for he had the fangs in the back. But I didn’t want to sound stupid and mention Lewis was a vampire also.

Jessie spent the day at my house, and my mom let her sleepover since it was Friday. Then when it was midnight, I sneaked out of the house and Jessie woke up and wanted to come with me. I reluctantly let her come.
I took my black bike, which was written all over in sharpie. “You take Edward’s.” I said to Jessie.
“Ugh! It’s too big!” She complained. “Where’s Lynn’s?”
“At her house, stupid. She doesn’t live here, remember?”
“Ohh, right. Darn it!” She hissed. She grabbed Edward’s bike and slowly followed behind me as I rode to Full Moon Street.
“Do you even know where the mansion is?” She said as she caught up to me.
“Of course I know. I used to walk passed it all the time, and see it in the distance.”
“Geez, this place is already creepy,” said Jessie, looking around all the tall houses. We were already in Full Moon Street. “Don’t you know the place is haunted?”
“Yes I know!” I replied impatiently. “That’s why Dalton could really be hiding bodies over at the mansion. You really don’t have to come if you don’t want to, you don’t even believe me.”
Jessie shrugged. “I wanna see if Dalton’s a vampire with my own eyes, remember?”
I bit my tongue, wanting to tell her Lewis and his friends were vampires as well. I was never good at keeping secrets if I didn’t want to.
We reached the end of the block, and in the distance, we could see the mansion in the distance, passed a brown, empty field where nothing grew. The mansion stood tall and wide, almost looking like the white house except for the old, pointy roofs at the top.
A chilly wind blew past us and Jessie shivered. “Why didn’t you bring a sweater? Seriously, it’s freezing at night!”
I was just in a black satin nightgown and sandals. My hair was down and I didn’t feel like taking off my eyeliner since I wasn’t going to sleep anyway. “I like to feel cold like a vampire,” I smiled.
“Ugh, you should ask Dalton out yourself. You love him, it’s obvious.”
We rode our bikes over the smooth field, and reached the mansion. There were four steps up to the front door. I looked up. The mansion towered over us, I felt dizzy by looking up. The front door was gray and looking like it was going to fall apart. The moon was full in the pitch black sky, and shone on us and into the house.
Jessie shivered from fear this time. “Ugh, you sure you want to go in there? I may not believe in vampires, but I might believe in ghosts. Two families were murdered here!”
“Hehe, yeah, murdered by vampires.” I reminded her. “Come on, I brought a flashlight, and luckily, the moon’s shining at the house. Just stay with me.”
Suddenly, the both of us gasped as the front door creaked slightly open, and a small piece of wood fell from the top.
“Ugh! That’s it! I’m not going in there! Did you see that?” Jessie hissed.
“Psh! Yeah, the front door opened a little?”
“Yeah! Without any wind!”
“I’m sure there wasn’t even a click to make sure the front door was completely closed. Come on, let’s go.”
“Do we have to go at night? What’s wrong with you? Let’s just go tomorrow morning!” Jessie nudged me.
“My dad grounded me for pushing Kenneth off my bike today, remember? I can’t go out anywhere without him.”
“Fine, you go in. I’m staying out here.”
I looked at her. “What?! I thought you wanted to see for yourself that Dalton’s a vampire.”
“Hey! I’m brave enough to actually wait out here! And you’ve got your cell phone, right? Take pictures of whatever you see if you want. If you show me the bodies, I’ll believe you, trust me.”
I rolled my eyes. “Okay fine. But just because you see the bodies doesn’t mean Dalton was the vampire who killed them.”
Jessie winced, but I turned and entered the house before she could say anything. I pushed the creaky front door open, and stepped quietly inside. I looked to my right, and saw a light switch. I knew it probably wouldn’t even work, but I switched it anyway, and was suddenly startled by a lamp in the corner of the room turn on, and I could actually see the whole mansion. I looked around, and saw that the walls were old, and in the distance, to my left, were stairs that looked like they were going to break down if I used them. The house smelled cold, and made my nose feel cold when I breathed, though it didn’t feel as cold. I walked slowly around, towards the stairs, but looked around, taking every step silently.
I reached the banister at the bottom of the stairs, and before going up, I looked ahead of me. There was a long, shadowy hallway that leads to the kitchen, I would guess. I narrowed my eyes down the hallway, trying to see what was down there, and suddenly, a shadow moved on the wall, and I was sure it was shaped like a human’s head. The human’s shadow disappeared into the other shadows on the wall. I gasped, and took a step back. I looked behind me. The front door was still open in the distance, for I hadn’t shut it.
I looked up the stairs. It twisted its way up, and it looked darker and darker the higher it got. I saw spider webs along the walls on the side of the stairs. I swallowed, looked around me, making sure I saw no one was watching me. Then I took a step on the first step, and then slowly made my way up. I noticed there were pictures hung on the wall to my right. I narrowed my eyes as I slowly passed each of them. They were dusty and falling apart, and I saw pictures of about ten or so different people, though there were the same pictures of each of them with each other, some smiling, some looking unhappy and bored. I gasped as I got to a little girl’s picture, and a large spider ran across it.
Finally, when I got to the end of the long line of pictures on the wall, the last picture freaked me out, I nearly dropped my phone and flashlight I had in my left hand. The last picture was a picture of a single person, a guy, looking like he was eighteen, or very early twenties. He had dark hair, long like Gabriel’s, and his face slightly smiled, resembling Edward’s smile. The picture went up to part of his chest, and he wore a dark purple and black colored cape. What freaked me about the picture was that two diagonal lines were cut across the picture and those lines were red- red like blood. They cut diagonally across the picture, and underneath both red lines were tiny drops of blood dripping from under the lines, though it was dried up. His eyes scared me as well, they were looking right into mine, though his face wasn’t turned towards me, he was facing slightly to the left, just like the Mona Lisa picture, but his eyes were shifted right at me, narrowed just like Lewis’s, except they had an evil look to them as they stared into mine. He was slightly smiling, though his eyes had a scary evil look that made me know right away that he must have not been a very good person. I looked away and continued upstairs.
I reached the top, and found a switch, and switched it on, slightly lighting up the upstairs just a little so I could see where I was going. There were still shadows looming everywhere.
Suddenly, there was a creak from downstairs, and I heard stomping getting closer from the bottom of the stairs.
My blood ran cold. “J-Jessie?” I called. I narrowed my eyes, and saw a shadow approaching on the wall next to the stairs. I back away, and felt something touch my shoulder, something cold……
“Ahhh!” I screamed and whipped to my right, running down the halls, until I found an open door to a room. I slammed it and saw that I was in a huge dusty library. I was panting. Was someone in this house now? Was Jessie here? I shivered and took a step forward and stepped on something.
I looked down and saw it was a closed thick book, and I took my flashlight and shined it at the book, and dusted it. I gasped as a creepy white vampire stared back at me. The book was titled, “The History of the Full Moon Mansion.”
Interesting, I thought. I could learn a thing or two about this place before I was out of here. I opened the book. I read a paragraph:
The Mordrin family were the first to move in. There was a mother, a father, and two little kids, and they lived in the Full Moon Mansion for a month before they were found dead, possibly killed by their father, who wasn’t found dead, and was missing.
There was a picture of the Mordrin family, and narrowed my eyes and then widened them as I recognized the father. He was the same guy on the last picture on the wall, and he had that same creepy smile and evil look to his eyes. I read on:
The next family was the Glensdale family, a family of a single mother, three kids, and a grandfather. They moved in, meeting a butler that turned out to be the father of the Mordrin family, and after another month, they were killed, possibly by the butler.
I winced. Weren’t they killed by vampires? Even Ms. Fletcher said so. I flipped through the pages, then got to a chapter that said, “The Seven Vampires.”
It was possible the father of the Mordrin family was a vampire. His name was Leonardo Mordrin, and he was a second husband to the mother. He had friends he spent time with, six of them, who had each been to jail and had murdered in the past. He was a troublemaker just like the rest of them, and they were always breaking the rules when they were together.
It wasn’t until the second family was killed that they were found as vampires. When word got out that the Glensdale family was killed in their house, a priest named Father Theodore had come to investigate the house, for he had been the Glensdale family’s priest. He arrived at the house, knocked on the door, and there was no answer. The vampires inside were scared.
Father Theodore entered the house himself, and when he had reached the underneath of the stairs, he was pushed into the basement, and discovered the dead bodies of both the Mordrin family and the Glensdale family, all in their own coffins. The vampires had locked him in as well, but were afraid to kill him. Father Theodore did his job and splashed holy water everywhere, and hung crosses around the walls. He broke out of the basement, and killed all the vampires with holy water and crosses. They disappeared and turned to ashes, and Father Theodore kept their ashes in a small treasure box, hidden in the basement where the coffins were.
Thinking he had killed all the vampires, ten years later, he had caught pneumonia, and was weak and dying. He was powerless at the point, and that was when Leonardo appeared and bit him on the neck, swearing revenge on him since he had escaped before the six other vampires were killed. But before the bite was too powerful, the doctor who was taking care of him had come in, and scared the vampire away with her cross on her necklace. Leonardo still wasn’t killed, but he had run off before Father Theodore was.
The bite on Father Theodore eventually turned him into a vampire himself, and he couldn’t be a priest again, though he lived his life as a vampire by preying on animal blood rather than kill humans.
But Leonardo was never seen again.
I looked up from reading, shivering. So the last picture had been a picture of the vampire who was possibly still alive. Leonardo Mordrin, I thought. I wonder if Lewis knew his name, or even knew him personally.
Suddenly, I was startled by a low snarling, and I gasped, shutting the book and shining my flashlight around, and flashed the light passed a dark creature by the window. I flashed back, shining the light into a large black dog with erect ears and a bristling bushy tail. It was staring at me, lips drawn into a snarl, and was deeply growling at me.
I shot up, and back away to the door, and the dog suddenly started barking loud, angrily. I slowly turned the knob, still shining the flashlight into the dog’s face, and slowly opened the door. The dog barked louder and immediately ran towards me. I screamed and rushed out the door, running down the hallway, and got to the stairs. I heard the dog barking after me, and snap at my nightgown, pulling me away. I screamed and yanked myself away, ripping the end of my nightgown and ran down the stairs, slipping on something wet as the stairs twisted around. I screamed and realized I had slipped on blood, the rest of the steps were covered in blood, and I screamed in horror and disgust as I got up and slipped again, falling down the wet stairs, covering parts of myself with blood.
“Eeech!” I screamed and ran towards the front door, no phone or flashlight, I had left them in the library. I ran with feet wet with blood towards the fornt door. It was still slightly opened, but suddenly, it shut as I reached it.
“Noooo! Open up!” I banged on the door, pulling and pushing at it, but it was tight shut. I accidently pulled off the knob, falling over on my back. I looked over at the door and saw a bloody scratch mark on the door. I screamed as I realized it was the devil sign scratched in blood on the door. I got up and ran to the windows, but they were shut tightly.
“Jessie!!! Jessie, are you out there?!” I screamed at the top of my lungs, banging at the window. I could see my bike and part of Edward’s but not Jessie. “Jessie? Jessie!” I banged harder at the window, trying to break out. If only I had my flashlight.
There was a bark behind me, and I yelled in pain as sharp teeth snapped around my left ankle, pulling me down and making me fall. The large black dog was gripping me with his teeth, and as I fell, it towered over me like a monster. I kicked back until my right foot hit it hard on the neck, making it yelp and let go of my ankle.
I got up and limped as fast as I can to the stairs, not wanting to go down the dark, creepy hallway. I pulled myself up over the blood all over the bottom part of the stairs. I rushed to the top, and limped to the closest room I could find, and shut the door.
I panted, tears streaming down my face with horror. I looked to the window, and the full moon shined inside. The window was shut, and I looked around the room, and saw that there was just a bed and a closet, nothing to throw out the window to break and escaped. I banged my head against the door, squeezing my eyes shut with frustration. I bet I was stuck in this house forever. I opened my eyes, looking around, and saw something on my bed. I blinked a couple times, and looked again, and saw nothing. I was sure I had seen a little girl. I shook my head and slowly approached the bed, and whipped my hand above the bed, rapidly feeling around for anything. I looked at the covers. They looked old and dirty. I rolled my eyes in disgust and fell onto the bed, too scared to pull the covers open. I lay there, looking at the ceiling. By morning, it would be bright enough for me to look around for my phone and call anyone to get me out of here. I was too scared to get out and find the library right now.
I didn’t expect myself to fall asleep since I was scared stiff, but I did. I woke up a few hours later from a cold draft. I opened my eyes and winced. The window wasn’t open, the door wasn’t open, and I was spooked. I held my breath for a moment, thinking of how I could’ve been murdered in my sleep.
Suddenly, there was a bang from downstairs, and I gasped and shot up. I looked at the door, expecting something to burst in, but nothing happened for five minutes. I slowly laid back down on the bed, then angrily cussed under my breath, for I had to go to the bathroom. I was too scared to go out there; it was still dark. I almost wanted to pee on the bed, until I heard something drop in my closet. There was another draft this time, chilling me, and something from the ceiling dropped on my forehead. The room flashed and thunder suddenly boomed. I screamed and shot up from the bed, running out of the door, and looked around for the bathroom. I saw it all the way at the corner, and ran into it, turning on the lights and shut the door. The breathed, closing my eyes for a moment, but when I opened them, I saw, hung on the wall, a skeleton, covered in blood. Its head hung down and its arms and leg were pinned to the wall in front of me, and above it, written in blood, were the sloppy words, “What you see is what will happen to those who remain.”
I choked as a gasped, and turned to the mirror, and flinched at my reflection. I even scared myself. The drop on my forehead was what I expected it to be. It was a drop of blood. I also saw how my eyeliner had drooped from under my eyes from the tears, and I looked like a dead zombie, scaring myself for a moment.
After using the bathroom, I went to wash my hands, and flinched from the thunder boom again. I heard the loud rain from outside. I slowly turned on the sink, but only two drops came out. I winced and tried both switches. Then suddenly, the thunder crashed, and the lights in the bathroom went out. I screamed, backing into the wall behind me. The thunder boomed, and as it did, white light flashed in the bathroom, and I saw for a second, in the mirror, my reflection, and a tall bald man with wide eyes, facing right at my side. I screamed in horror, and as the bathroom went dark after a second, I tried opening the door to get out, but it was locked. I gasped and banged at the door, and screamed when the thunder boomed again, flashing the light in the bathroom and showing the bald, wide-eyed man again, now pressed against the wall, his head hanging down, and hung up against the wall like the skeleton. I only saw him for a second, but I screamed as the bathroom went dark again.
I broke the door open since it was so old and weak, and tripped as I stepped out of the bathroom, and looked back, seeing no one but the skeleton in the bathroom as lightning flashed and thunder boomed, lighting up the house.
I got up and ran downstairs, wanting to break out of the house again, not wanting to end up like the Mordrin or Glensdale family. The thunder scared me, and lightning flashed in the house.
As I got down the stairs, I remembered. The basement! That was where I would find the bodies! Did I dare go down there?
I flinched as I heard a growl, and turned to the door, and saw the black dog asleep in front of the front door. Well, I sure can’t escape at the moment, so I tiptoed to the underneath of the stairs, and saw a door. I wish I had my flashlight with me. I slowly and quietly opened the door, barely making any noise. I felt the walls for a switch, and switched the lights on. The light was dim and yellow, and shadows loomed around the walls down the stairs.
I took a deep breath and stepped forward, down the creaking stairs, looking around as I made my way down. I reached the bottom, and gasped as I noticed evil looking statues around to the sides against the walls. They had their arms raised and heads tilted up, and blood streaked down from all of them.
I followed the line of statues…until they came to a line of coffins. I gasped and held my breath as I took a step towards them. They were open, and standing up against the walls, but I could see bodies in them. I got up to the first one, and held my hand up to my mouth as I saw the white, dead, stiff corpse of a woman, the one I recognized from the Mordrin family. I went down the line, and saw that there were the kids of the Mordrin family in their own coffins, then the Glensdale family. I saw that they had their own names written above. Their faces scared me, some had their eyes open, and others had shocked dead looks on their faces.
I gasped quietly as I came to the next one after the Glensdale baby. I recognized the dead corpse lying in the coffin, eyes closed, mouth slightly open. It was Danielle, she was in her same outfit the last time I saw her. Above her coffin was her name, Danielle Garland. I stared at her, wide-eyed. She looked peaceful lying there, though. I bit my tongue and looked right next to her, wincing, not recognizing the body. Then, the gangster clothes and bitten neck with two dots in the back of the line of bite marks made me remember. It was the gangster who had shot Dalton and had been bitten by Lewis. I looked to the left one, and saw Mrs. Yoselinda, looking shocked and wide-eyed. Then it was the two boys, Ethan and Richie, and then the blonde girl, Marianna. She looked tired and confused with her eyes open. She was pretty, but I looked away, knowing she was Dalton’s second girlfriend when he was already planning on asking me out.
I decided I should look over these bodies, and analyze the bite marks. I whipped around, but flinched with pain as my ankle burned. I remembered the dog had bitten it, and it was wounded and bleeding a little. I winced in pain and squatted down, taking a look at my ankle. It was nasty-looking, sticky with blood, and stung when I moved it. I really wanted to get out of here right now, I really felt like joining these bodies at the moment.
I sighed tiredly and slowly rose up, and turned- and screamed as I faced…Dalton. He was looking at me with his eyes wide with anger, staring into me.
“Ahhhh! Dalton?!” I screamed, flinching.
“What are you doing in here?” He said dangerously, stepping toward me. I backed away. I noticed his fangs were bloody. At least he wouldn’t be thirsty.
“I- you-” I looked at him and noticed he was wearing a black cape. “What are you doing here?! Hiding bodies? Are you the one who murdered all those people in school? Vampire?!” I screamed it angrily at his face.
He gave me a wide-eyed look of surprise.
I couldn’t help cracking a smile as he made that look with the eyeliner on. “I’ve known, Dalton. I really have. That’s why I’m here. I-I saw you kiss Danielle and kill her.”
He stared at me for a second, then shook his head, his eyes wide. “I- no, you- I didn’t kill these people. I swear…..I can explain. Nikki-”
“I’m not saying you killed everyone else! I’m just saying you killed Danielle! And possibly Marianna. But Danielle, I saw you do it with my own eyes!”
He didn’t meet my gaze.
“Dalton, I understand you want to go out with me,” I said slowly. He met my serious gaze. “I really would love to, trust me. But you would do the same to me as you did to Danielle…..and Marianna. You would, wouldn’t you? If you can’t help yourself.”
Dalton stared at me, and I stared back at his wide-eyed, attracting stare. It just looked cute when he did it. “You look really scary with your eyeliner like that,” he complimented finally.
I rolled my eyes, slightly smiling. “Thanks to this stupid house. I really want to get out of here first. Can you, like, get your guard dog away from the door?”
Dalton winced. “Oh no, that’s not my dog. It’s a stray that just lives around Full Moon Street. He comes here to visit since no one lives here.”
I winced. “He doesn’t scent the spirits?”
“The Glensdale family had a dog, and the dog ran away when they were murdered, and that dog that’s here comes from that generation. It hates me. It thinks it can kill me, but I ain’t scared of it. I can suck animal blood as well as human.”
“How can you be sure it’s from the same generation? And why are you here? Did you kill another body?”
Dalton looked away. “No, my mom’s boyfriend is spending the night, so I snuck over here to sleep in my coffin upstairs. Just happened to scent you here.”
I hesitated. I chuckled. “So you have your own coffin, huh? What’s with the cape?”
Dalton gave a sideways smile. “I like to pretend I’m Leonardo, the vampire that used to live here long ago.”
I frowned. “Leonardo? Why would you want to be him?”
“’Cause he’s cool,” shrugged Dalton. “So why are you here?”
I heard a bang upstairs. I flinched. “I’ll tell you if you get me out of here. How’d you get in away from that dog?”
“I used the chimney. And I can chase that dog away if I wanted to,” he walked towards the basement and opened the door. I followed him.
The dog was sitting by the door, awake this time. It turned to us as we appeared from the basement, and started growling.
“Shut up,” muttered Dalton in an annoyed tone.
I stayed by his side as we made our way to the window.
“Wait, stand back,” he cast a glance at the dog that was glaring at us, growling ferociously. Then he faced the window, took a step back, and held my hand. I noticed he didn’t have his gloves on, so my blood ran cold as I felt his cold, cold hand, as well as the wounds all around it. I cracked a smile, feeling dreamy, but snapped out of it as the dog started running towards us, and immediately, Dalton turned around and ran at full speed, holding my hand, and immediately, we were upstairs, facing another window.
“What-” I winced.
“Someone’s out there, we can’t be seen by them,” said Dalton urgently.
“Jessie! It’s probably her,” I told him.
“No, it’s not Jessie. I can scent its blood. If he sees you, we’re both dead.”
I looked at him. “It’s another vampire, isn’t it?”
He blinked, not meeting my gaze. “Vampires. They’re coming inside.”
I gasped. “Is it Lewis? And his friends?”
“And another vampire. Once they come in, we’re crashing out of here,” said Dalton.
“Who’s the other vampire?” I wondered if it was Leonardo.
“Just shut up!” Hissed Dalton through clenched teeth. “They’re coming in!”
I huffed and heard the front door creak open. I heard laughing and then loud barking from the dog.
“Let’s go,” Dalton gripped my hand, backing away, and ran at full speed towards the window, his other arm thrust out and we crashed out the window in a split of a second, and I held Dalton’s hand tightly as we flew out from the upstairs of the house, much higher than I expected it to be. I choked a gasp as I looked down.
“Dalton!!!” I heard an unfamiliar male voice yell from the house.
Dalton cast a quick glance back, and then landed in a tree with me, though I crashed roughly into a branch and nearly fell off if Dalton hadn’t gripped harder on my hand. He muttered a cuss word and pulled me up.
He cussed. “Quick, hold tightly, we have to leave now,” he gripped tighter and crashed out of the tree, with me holding onto his back. We ran down the street, through the rain, and I narrowed my eyes through the storm.
“Hey!” The same voice yelled from behind.
I looked back and saw a tall, dark figure crash from the bushes behind us in the distance, running at full speed, catching up to just a few yards behind us. He had a cape flying behind him as he ran with the wind.
“Don’t look back!” Dalton yelled. He ran faster.
I winced through the storm. “Dalton! Is that Lewis?!”
Dalton yelled something back, but I didn’t hear, for thunder boomed and lightning flashed.
I looked back anyway, and didn’t see that this figure didn’t have the crazy hair like Lewis, it had a shape like Gabriel’s hair. It was gaining on us, but Dalton pressed on faster each time. I felt like my skin was going to fall behind as we ran at full speed. I felt both exhilaration and fear as I held onto Dalton’s back as he ran on through the rain away from the vampire behind us.
Suddenly, the vampire behind us was right behind me, just a few inches away.
“You’re not getting away,” the voice cracked evilly.
I screamed and Dalton whipped his head back and tried running even faster, but the vampire leaped onto me, gripping onto my shoulders with wet, sharp-clawed gloves. I felt his wicked breath behind me, hissing.
I screamed and Dalton suddenly skidded, whipping around so rapidly, he threw the vampire off and held my hand before I fell. The vampire fell on the wet pattering road, skidding a few feet away, then got up and rushed towards Dalton. Dalton let me go, and he clashed towards the vampire.
“Uhhh!” I grunted as he dropped me on the rough, wet, muddy ground. I fell on my stomach, and looked up through the pouring rain and saw Dalton and the taller vampire clash together, and both fall on the ground, the taller one on top of Dalton. The both of them thrashed around and rolled around, splashing on the wet road through the pouring rain. The lightning flashed and thunder boomed, and Dalton shot up, backing away and then colliding towards the other vampire, and I heard their loud hissing and as they neared me, I crawled away, but I felt blood splatter on my face through the rain, though it was quickly washed away.
Dalton suddenly hit the ground beside me, on his side.
“Dalton!” I screamed.
A black foot underneath a cape suddenly stepped over him, and a drop of blood landed on my head. I looked up and saw the tall dark figure of the other vampire, looking down at me. I couldn’t see his face, but his head was shaped like Gabriel’s hairstyle, sort of like a girl’s haircut, but curved inwards at the end.
Suddenly, thunder boomed and lightning flashed, but Dalton had leaped at his shoulders, knocking him over as soon as the light flashed before I could see his face.
They rolled away from me, and lightning flashed, and I saw the other vampire slash at Dalton’s neck, and pin him to the ground, and lean over, as if he was going to bite the terrible wound on his neck. But Dalton pushed up and rolled over with the vampire. Thunder boomed and then I heard a rip and I gasped. Dalton suddenly leaped away from the tussle with the other vampire with his cape torn off and the left side of his black sweater was torn away.
“Nikki!” He called through the thundering rain. I rose up, the mud on me washing away from the pouring rain. He immediately grabbed me and threw me on his shoulders and ran on.

Dalton didn’t stop until we reached my house. We stood under the porch, a few feet away from the front door.
“Wait! I left mine and Edward’s bikes back there!” I whipped around.
Dalton cussed. “Can’t go back for it now. They’re probably going to destroy it now.”
“And Jessie was waiting there!” I cried. Then I winced. “Or, she was.”
Dalton winced. “I didn’t scent her when I arrived.” He turned away, touching his neck where it was bleeding. A diagonal line slashed across his neck and it bled badly.
I winced. “Ew, doesn’t that hurt?”
Dalton gave me a sideways smile. “Nah, not really. It did.”
“Ugh, do that later, seriously,” I narrowed my eyes as he rubbed the blood on his fingers.
“Fine,” he replied tartly.
He met my gaze, looking a little tired. “How long have you known I was a vampire?”
I raised my eyebrows. “Ever since you turned into one. I saw you in the girls’ bathroom.”
He winced. “I wasn’t in the girls’ bathroom!”
I laughed. “Yes you were! You were coughing up blood and throwing up. Ever since then, you’ve been looking so white and I noticed your teeth pretty soon.”
He looked away. “Did Lewis tell you anything?”
I shook my head. “But he did know I knew, so I talked to him a little. He told me about that mansion.”
Dalton frowned. “Why? He wanted to keep it a secret. He sleeps there with his friends also. Every night, if he’s not out hunting.”
I widened my eyes. “So he must’ve killed someone.”
Dalton met my gaze, looking into my eyes. “Yes, it was…’ll find out.” He looked away.
I gasped. “Was it Jessie?!”
Dalton hesitated. “No, they went up to Dermant Street. I was with them, until my mom called and wanted me to come home. So I told them I would meet them at the mansion after midnight since my mom and her boyfriend stay up late.”
I bit my lip. “Just as I thought when I saw those other bodies. Lewis killed them, didn’t he? You only killed Danielle and Marianna, didn’t you?”
Dalton turned away. “I couldn’t help it with Marianna. I was so thirsty. And we were alone. I haven’t killed anyone besides just Danielle and Marianna.”
“Lewis was trying to make me believe you killed everyone. He never told me he or his friends were vampires.”
“He never told me you knew I was a vampire! He told everyone to keep everything a secret, including me.”
“Well, Ms. Fletcher told me about her father, Father Theodore, who is a vampire, and how he had killed the vampires who killed both the families in that mansion.”
Dalton winced. “Ms. Fletcher? That was her father? How could he have been a priest and a vampire at the same time?”
I explained to Dalton about everything Ms. Fletcher told me. Including how I had been attacked by the vampire that killed Mrs. Yoselinda, and how Jessie and heard the two non-IBs get attacked. I spilled out everything, except my feelings.
Dalton listened intently, and looked away. “Lewis killed Mrs. Yoselinda. He told me how he found you in the classroom as well, but he wasn’t the one who attacked you. It was Leonardo.”
I raised my eyebrows. “Wow, I’m not surprised. I didn’t see Lewis’s crazy hair shape in the dark. And was that also Leonardo, walking up to Jessie and scared her away while she was waiting for me in the bathroom?”
“Yep. He told me he was about to prey on Jessie, before he found Mrs. Yoselinda. He and Lewis actually shared her, but Lewis was the only one who killed Ethan and Richie.” He met my gaze. “Those pictures you took of me, did Jessie believe them?”
I smiled. “Nah, she almost did, but not all the way. I don’t even have my phone right now, actually,” I turned to look back at the pouring rain.
Dalton snickered. “I got it. I found it in the library. I saw the pictures you took.”
He took out my phone from his pocket.
“Oh, thanks. You didn’t get my flashlight?” I took my phone.
“What? Oh, that was yours? Sorry, I didn’t know. I can only scent blood, not things you touched.”
I chuckled. “That’s fine. It was Edward’s anyway. So what are you going to do about Lewis? He’s using you to hide his identity that he’s the vampire killing everyone at school, since he knows I know you’re a vampire.”
“I don’t know. I bet he’s pissed at me now, he knew you and I were there, thanks to Leonardo.” There was a sudden boom of thunder and I flinched. Dalton snickered at me.
I made a face at him. “He knows I like you, and he tells me you like me, yet, he’s trying to make me think badly of you.”
“He never told me that you liked me. But I can tell you about Lewis’s past on Monday, after school. The storm’s getting worse.”
I nodded, not wanting to leave him. I looked at him and thought he looked beautiful with his hair all wet from the rain, his lips looking bloody red in his white face, though his cape was torn off. The wound on his neck made him look attracting as well, which reminded me of something.
“Hey, Ms. Fletcher told me Lewis bit you on the shoulder. I bet you have a scar there,” I said to him.
He looked at me. “Yeah, I do. It doesn’t look deep, though. He didn’t bite me hard enough to kill me. See?” He showed me a bite mark with two large bite marks at the ends on his right shoulder.
I quickly raised my eyebrows. “Wow that is Lewis’s bite.”
“Yeah,” we stood there for a few seconds, hearing nothing but the rain pouring down. “I gotta get going,” he said finally, not meeting my gaze. His eyes looked a little troubled.
I felt a surge of sadness flow through me. “You’re not going back to that haunted house, are you?”
“Of course not, they’re going to hate me for taking you out of there. I have to stay at my stupid mom’s house.”
“Oh,” I said quietly. “Be careful.”
“No, you be careful, Lewis probably knows what you’re up to by now.” He gave me a sideways look.
He probably did. He could tell anything. “Yeah. Hey, before you leave, one more thing. What were you doing that night Gabriel and I broke up?”
He winced, then grimaced. “What?”
I sighed. “You were there, I saw you. It was you. Even Gabriel recognized you. You were walking up to our car slow like a zombie. And you smiled when we ran away from you.”
He narrowed his eyes. “Okay, that I don’t remember, seriously.”
I laughed. “What? Were you sleepwalking, or what?”
“Maybe. Sun trauma makes me lightheaded sometimes. I could’ve sleepwalked.” He looked away for a second, and started walking away. I watched him leave.
“Hey, I kinda had fun riding you away from Leonardo. You felt even colder than the rain,” I said after him.
He turned. “The rain’s not that cold,” he gave me a sideways look.
I didn’t feel like returning it. I was turned away, thinking of riding him again, longing for it. After what seemed like an hour, I noticed he was still standing there, staring at me, looking transfixed. I turned to him and he met my eyes, changing his expression. I gave a slight smile, knowing I might look scary if I smiled too much, for my eyeliner was drooping down the bottom of my eyes.
Dalton blinked and slightly smiled back, this time, not a naughty smile, but a nice, understanding smile. Even though he barely smiled, it took my breath away, for he actually had a nice smile when he was understanding. I never thought I would see that side of him, as well as look at that side of him.
He turned away and disappeared as he turned right on my street. I stood there for a moment, listening to the rain, then turned to the door. I lifted my hand to open it, but suddenly, it popped open and Jessie faced me.
“Ha! Dalton asked you out, didn’t he?” She laughed.
I widened my eyes. “Jessie?” I winced.
She took another look at me. “Oh my gosh! What the hell happened to you? You’re all soaked and dirty and bleeding-”
“I’m not bleeding, that’s from….Dalton.” I chuckled. “Hey, where were you? Some friend you are, you promised to wait out there for me!”
Jessie pulled me in the house and slammed the door. We walked upstairs. “I was waiting for you, but then a second later, I heard something in the bushes, and there was growling. Then this huge mutt chased me away from the mansion. I took your bike since it was easier for me to ride. Tell Edward he’s gonna have to buy a new one, unless he wants to go there.”
I huffed. “I don’t think he’ll find it there.”
Jessie looked at me. “So what happened to you in there? And why were you in there for hours?”
We entered my room and shut the door. I told Jessie everything I found in there, from the creepy shadows, the dog, the ghost and skeleton in the bathroom, the black dog, everything. I told her about the book I read in the library, about the Mordrin and Glensdale family, about Leonardo, how I had to sleep in the room since the “ghosts” locked me in, and the bodies I found in the basement. I told how I met up with Dalton, and we were chased by Leonardo.
“He fought Leonardo and got slashed in his neck. But he carried me away and it was sooo fun. I actually enjoyed part of it,” I explained with a smile.
Jessie giggled, though she had a troubled look on her face. “You really like him, don’t you?”
I sighed. “Yeah, you can say that.”
Jessie looked disgusted.
“What?” I frowned.
“Ugh, you found those dead bodies. And some from, like seventy years ago! And ghosts?!”
I blinked. “Oh. Yeah, I’m never going back to that house again, though I’m glad I looked at those bodies. The bite marks were Lewis’s, except for Danielle and Marianna.”
“Wait a second!” Jessie was wincing. “You said Lewis bit into those people at school?”
I sighed. “Jessie, Lewis and his friends are all vampires. Just talk to Ms. Fletcher, hopefully she won’t fake her knowledge like Lewis did.”
“What?! How can Lewis be a vampire?”
“Ms. Fletcher told me he was the one who bit into Dalton and turned him into a vampire. She witnessed our fight with the gangsters.” I explained. “And her father is a vampire also, but he used to be a priest sixty-five years ago, and he was the Father Theodore who killed the vampires that killed the families. But one of the vampires, Leonardo, escaped. That was the Leonardo who was the father of the Mordrin family, and the one that chased us.”
Jessie looked surprised. She didn’t look at me. “So is Ms. Fletcher a vampire?”
“No, her mother was human, so she’s just human as well, with just vampire blood in her.”
Jessie frowned. “Creepy. I’ll never look at Ms. Fletcher the same way again. But are you sure it’s Lewis killing those people at school? Did you see the bite marks?”
“Yeah, I saw the bite marks, and Dalton says so also, but he also admits that he killed Danielle and Marianna.”
I looked at Jessie. “So you believe me now, huh?”
Jessie raised her eyebrows. “I guess…..but what are you going to do about it?”
“Well, first of all, don’t tell anybody. Not even James. But you know what? Lewis is trying to make me think Dalton’s been killing people at school since he knows I know Dalton’s a vampire. He’s trying to hide his identity.”
“Ugh! What about that Leonardo dude? He’s still around and hanging out with them! He could be killing people!” Said Jessie.
“Well, he could, but Lewis is killing people at our school right now, Dalton’s killed no one but Danielle and Marianna and Lewis is just using him to cover up everything. I should tell Ms. Fletcher on Monday after school.”
“Hey, Jenny could die!” Jessie exclaimed. “She could kiss Lewis, and then bam! She could end up like Danielle! We should tell her!”
“Don’t tell anyone yet! Seriously, just tell Ms. Fletcher, and see what she suggests.”
Jessie groaned. “Why Lewis? He’s soooo hot, uh! Why does he have to be a vampire? Why does he have to kill us?”

By Monday, I arrived at school with my hair in two high crazy ponytails again, looking like my old slutty self again.
Nate noticed me as I walked passed him. “Hey! Nikki! Did you see Dalton? His neck is all scratched up!”
I turned to face him. “Yeah, I saw. What happened to him?” I wanted to know what he told everyone else.
Nate shrugged. “I dunno. He says he tripped on the road or something? Who cares, he’s finally taken off his sweater!”
We chatted as we walked to school. Chatting with Nate always got me in a hyped up mood, for he was always moronic about things he talked about, purposely acting stupid and goofy about everything, sometimes getting a little rude also.
But I stopped laughing as we reached campus. Lewis was right there, just a distance away from us, walking with a serious look on his face. He stood tall as he walked over up the stairs to the school, where Jessica, Louise, Shawn, Justin, and Delaney were hanging out around the front classes.
“Haha, they’re not supposed to be there,” Nate muttered, smirking.
“Hey, wait. Dalton’s with them,” I noticed Dalton standing around with them, laughing with Justin.
Lewis joined them. “Sup Dalton,” he said in a friendly tone.
Dalton turned to him, and suddenly, Lewis bumped his hand on Dalton’s face and shoved his head against the wall. His friends crowded around Dalton, and Lewis kicked him in the shin.
“Ooh,” Nate muttered.
I flinched. “Hey! Did you see how hard that was?!”
Nate puckered his lips. “Yep, wow.”
Lewis muttered something savagely to Dalton and punched him, though his friends crowded around, so I can’t see.
I gave Nate a surprised glance, and ran up to them.
“Sup, Lewis,” I said in a sassy tone, smiling.
Lewis and his friends turned to me, still crowding around Dalton.
Lewis had a tired look at me. “Sup Nikki,” he replied in a friendly tone back.
“What are you doing? I saw a teacher coming this way, you’ll get in trouble for hanging out around here.”
“We’re not afraid of any teacher,” said Delaney smoothly.
Nate caught up with us, spitting to his side.
I narrowed my eyes, smiling. “Really? Enjoying the gum you’re chewing? Or are you still chewing it?” I noticed Delaney had pink stickiness around her teeth- her sharp fangs.
Delaney winced, licking her teeth, glaring at me.
Lewis came up to me, looking me in the eye. I looked back sassily at his narrowed eyes, his dark, narrowed eyes.
“Listen, Nikki,” he said quietly. “Get away from us. Now.” His eyes bore into mine.
Nate snickered. “Why, man? What’s your problem? Mad at Dalton for something?”
“Yeah? Maybe…..for something he did on Friday?” I shrugged.
Louise licked her teeth visibly. “Yeah you know, right?” She said sassily.
I shrugged. “Just something he told me on-”
Lewis stepped up to me and pushed my shoulder. “Go away, Nikki,” he hissed dangerously. “Or you’re getting it.”
I made a face at him. “Don’t push me!” I slapped his hand angrily away from me, calling him a cuss word.
Nate snickered. “That’s what ya get for messing with a girl. For messing with Nikki!” Nate gave him a nudge on the shoulder.
Instantly, Lewis grabbed Nate’s forearm and threw him against the wall, giving him a punch on the face as well.
“Hey! What the hell!” I screamed. I shoved Lewis out of the way, making him fall to his side. I never had trouble pushing people over.
Suddenly, Dalton stood up. “Nikki-”
Lewis immediately shot up, looking like a blur as he did, and lunged at me, and I ducked. He landed on his feet behind me.
Louise was snickering. “Hehehe, you shouldn’t mess with Lewis like that.”
Nate got up and snickered. “He shouldn’t mess with Nikki like that. She punched me even harder than that before just for stealing her bike with Ashton to go down to the shopping center.”
Before I said anything, Lewis immediately leaped onto Nate, pinning him down. His friends crowded over, chatting, so I couldn’t see what was happening.
“Moooove!” I yelled savagely, punching Justin in the back and pulling him out of the way.
“Ow!” He glared at me and grabbed my neck. I immediately whipped around and kicked his shin, making him let go.
I glared down at him as he held his ankle. “You wanna bite me? Go ahead! Bite me!” I took his arm, pulled his sleeve up, and bit hard into his arm, making him yell in pain.
Suddenly, someone kicked my side and I whipped over to face Louise. She had her eyes narrowed in a grimace. Everyone else but Lewis faced me.
“Sorry Nikki,” she giggled. “But you’re no vampire.” She leaped at me, and we both rolled head over heels in a blur. I heard Louise hiss as I thrashed with her.
Suddenly, a whistle blew.
“Hey! You kids aren’t supposed to be hanging over here!” A high pitched voice yelled.
We all got up, Justin’s left arm with my bite mark, actually starting to bleed a little.
“Go!” The teacher was pointing to the entrance to school. “You can’t be over here!”
Lewis was glaring, looking the teacher in the eye, before slowly turning and heading into the entrance. His friends followed, muttering and giggling, and Lewis shifted his eyes without turning his head, to give me an evil look through attractive, narrowed eyes, and then disappeared around the wall. His friends all shot me sassy smiles before disappearing. Louise stuck her tongue out, showing her sharp teeth, and I stuck mine out, showing my piercing on my tongue. I returned her evil smile back at her before she disappeared.
I turned and saw Dalton against the wall with his eyes closed, and Nate standing up by his side, playing with a bleeding cut on his cheek.
I gave a light smack on his cheek with the cut.
“Ow! What’s wrong with you, Nikki?”
I huffed, smiling sideways at him. “He didn’t bite you all the way, did he?”
“What? No, this is just a scratch from his glove. Why would he try to bite me? All he did was trying banging my head against the wall and choke me.”
I sighed in relief. “So he didn’t even try biting you?”
Nate winced, snickering a little. “No, that’s gay! Why would he do that?” He started laughing.
I sarcastically laughed along. “Yeah, I just thought he looked a little hungry.”
Nate winced at me. “What the heck? Okay…” He looked away, looking confused and smiling at the same time.
I didn’t feel like thinking up a smart excuse. I looked at Dalton and bit my lip.
“What did they do to him? Dalton?!” Surely they didn’t kill him? The only way to kill a vampire is by sunlight, or religious stuff.
Nate looked at him. “Dude, Dalton. Wake up,” he kicked his side.
I shoved Nate away. “Don’t kick him! Geez!”
Suddenly, Dalton slowly opened his eyes, and shot up as he noticed us, looking embarrassed.
Nate started laughing. “Dude, I think Louise tried to kiss you! I think I saw her pushing you against the wall and trying to kiss at you! Did you faint when she did?”
Dalton winced and laughed naughtily. “No! She was-”
“It doesn’t matter!” I rolled my eyes, though I was thankful Nate didn’t suspect they were vampires. “Did you see what they tried to do to you?” I looked at Nate. “They tried…..hurting you.” I couldn’t say kill or suck the blood from.
Nate met my gaze, looking a little serious for once. “Yeah, does Lewis hate us all of a sudden? What did we do? We haven’t even been hanging out with them for a while. Well, you have.” He pointed at Dalton.
Dalton stood frozen and said nothing, looking expressionless.
I shook my head, looking pissed. “Seriously, you should stay away from them now.”
Nate winced at me. “Why?”
I knew I must be sounding weird right now. “Uh, because….I’ve seen them outside of school. They break the rules and hurt people. Seriously.”
Nate grimaced at Dalton. “Yeha, I bet you’ve been doing stuff like that with them, but I’m not scared of you.”
We were walking towards Ms. Fletcher’s class. “So? You shouldn’t be scared of them either,” Dalton replied snappishly.
We joined William, Anthony, Ashton, and Jeremy. “Dude, William! Lewis attacked me!” Nate was laughing. “Look what he did to me with his gloves!” He showed him his cut on his cheek.
William winced. “What the heck?” He laughed. “Why did he do that?”
“Haha! Lewis looked mad about something when he came,” said Jeremy. “But his friends were all laughing. And I think I know who I’m gonna ask out now.”
“Really?” I looked at him. “Is it Tess?”
“Nah,” he had a naughty look on his face. “I think I’ll ask Delaney out. She’s pretty cool to me.”
I felt my blood rush out. “What?! Delaney?!”
“Yeah, she and I actually talk a lot together, you see us,” he was smiling.
“Well, yeah, I see that, but you talk to everybody a lot! And trust me, you do not want to ask her out!”
Jeremy frowned, giving me a hint of a smirk. “Why not? She’s hot.”
Ashton snickered. “You hate her, Nikki?”
“No, not exactly,” I said sassily. “It’s just that she attacked me and Nate with Lewis just a minute ago.”
“What about Dalton?” Anthony was wincing at his neck. “How badly did they hurt him?”
“She hurt Dalton also?” Jeremy widened his eyes. “Cool! I should totally ask her out then! Especially if she hurt Nikki and Nate and Dalton! She should get Jessie next, and then I’ll love her completely!”
“Dude, shut up!” Nate laughed.
I pinched his shoulder.
“Ow, see? Delaney’s awesome to have done that!” Jeremy snickered.
“Then go find her and kiss her! Seriously, go do it!” I dared him.
“Where is she?”
“Probably at the back of the school, where they always are,” said Dalton. “I dare you to follow her after school and get her alone where no one can see you two.”
Suddenly, the bell rang and we had to go to class. I wondered how Nate really felt about Lewis. I was sure he didn’t trust them anymore, but he sure didn’t show it. Hopefully everyone would have to stay away from them as much as possible. I looked over and saw Jenny laughing with Jessie and James, holding Lewis’s hand. I didn’t know what to do about her especially, for I couldn’t just walk up to her and say it to her face that Lewis was a dangerous vampire.

During lunch, I snuck away from Jessie and the group of noisy people, all laughing and messing around with Jeremy asking out Delaney. Of course, she sat in the cafeteria with Lewis and everyone else, as well as Nate and the others.
I snuck away when I caught Dalton walking out of the cafeteria. We snuck to the P.E. area, where everything was empty, for the classes were at the upper field.
“Why can’t I just tell you after school?” Dalton sounded grumpy.
“Because I’m talking to Ms. Fletcher after school,” I replied.
We sat by the large grass area where there was a bench.
“So what’s with Lewis? Where does he even live, actually?” I asked.
“Actually, Lewis doesn’t live with any parents. And neither does his friends. They all sleep anywhere they can hide in. The park, a house for sale nobody lives in, or that mansion. Anywhere they can hide and not be found. Lewis actually wasn’t born a vampire, but Leonardo was. Lewis’s parents were actually related to the Mordrin family. They were their long-ago relatives.
“A hundred and fifty years ago, Lewis was born. His last name is Dafoe, but he’s still a relative of the Mordrin family. His parents were killed in a car accident when he was eighteen, and he and his little sister were wounded. His sister died in the hospital, and he would’ve also, but Leonardo, who had been around during that time as a vampire, saw him as something valuable, and that he could make something powerful, for Leonardo has a strange ability to read someone’s strength and destiny. So he bit into him, transforming him into a vampire, and helping him develop his ways to become as vile as him. It wasn’t hard, Lewis has always had a sly, quiet, ambitious personality. He wasn’t afraid to kill. He doesn’t show mercy. He hides his terrible side by being so quiet and mysterious. He and Leonardo were great together, as well as Leonardo’s six friends that were with him.”
“So Lewis has been with Leonardo and his friends?”
Dalton met my gaze. “Yeah, his friends were all teenagers, just like him, all eighteen to twenty-one years old in appearance, though I don’t know how old they really are. Like, Lewis is really over a hundred and fifty years old. But anyway, there were seven of them altogether, without Lewis. They were each couples, two of Leonardo’s friends were a couple, and they had Louise as their child. Then another pair had the twins, Shawn and Justin. And the last two pairs had Jessica.”
I winced. “So who had Delaney?”
“Leonardo had a wife, her name was Aurora. They both had Delaney, but when he and his wife were murdering a family, Aurora was killed by sunlight when the family fought back. And you know what’s weird? The family they killed that Aurora happens to be Father Theodore’s grandparents.
“Anyway, Lewis trained Louise, Jessica, and the twins to grow up like him, so by the time they reached this appearance, they all looked up to Lewis as a mentor and a leader.”
“What about Delaney?”
“Delaney was never very fond of Lewis; she looked up to her father more as her leader. But she was always so independent herself, and learned her ways on her own. She was always so quiet and moody around Lewis and didn’t think much of him since he wasn’t born a vampire. Lewis was actually the fastest, strongest, and smartest of the entire group, and everyone worshipped him and admired his ways, except for Delaney, who was actually pretty skilled herself. She was sorta like in second place after Lewis. They both didn’t compete on who was the best skilled vampire, but they were never very fond of each other, and Delaney always avoided him and didn’t talk to him much. Not to mention she didn’t talk much at all.
“But years later, Lewis decided to go out on his own and live his own life. Jessica, Louise, and the twins decided to follow him and stick with him, and Delaney only came because she liked Justin. So they at some neighborhood not far from here, but then after they heard about Leonardo’s friends killing the two families, and being killed themselves by Father Theodore, they came to this place and joined this school as high school students, though he never told me why.”
I blinked. “I think they want to attack the school Father Theodore’s daughter teaches. Ms. Fletcher does play a big part in this school for being popular around the students, and the teachers as well.”
Dalton met my gaze. “Yeah, I think you’re right. That could be why they’re here.”
“Hey, so why did Lewis turn you into a vampire? Did he think you were special?”
Dalton shrugged. “I guess. He said I befriended him and he thought I was pretty fit for a vampire, so when I was dying, he rescued me that way.”
I bit my lip. “Are you still…thirsty? I mean, you haven’t killed anyone except Marianna and Danielle, as well as that blood stain on your sweater.”
Dalton smirked at me. “Yeah, I really am. For the past few weeks since I killed Marianna.”
I winced and scooted away from him.
“Nah, just kidding, I had some the other night with Lewis.”
“Ugh! Who did you kill this time? Oh! And Jessie knows you were a vampire. She knows Lewis and his friends are also.”
Dalton’s eyes widened. “What?! Jessie knows?!”
“Relax, she’s not telling anyone, trust me. But I think I have an idea on what to do to Lewis.”
“Are you planning on killing him?” Dalton looked into my eyes.
I hesitated. “Well, at the moment I am. After school I’m talking to Ms. Fletcher, so we can work this out. But my plan right now is to…well…kill Lewis, as well as his friends.”
Dalton looked away, expressionless. “Okay…what’s the plan?”
I narrowed my eyes. “You’re not planning on telling him, are you? I’m not telling you if-”
“No! Of course not! What’s your plan?”
“Well, we kill Lewis at the mansion, so we use someone as bait…Jessie fell the night I visited the mansion, and she cut her hand, so we could use her as bait to lure Lewis to where Father Theodore could be waiting-”
Dalton interrupted me with his laughter. “Wait, wait, wait! You actually think Jessie’s gonna lure Lewis? He can run faster than-”
“I know! You’re gonna be taking her. You’re going to-”
“What?” Dalton winced. “No, I’m not carrying Jessie, not going to happen!” He got up laughing.
“Dalton!” I got up and grabbed his arm. “What’s wrong with you? You wanna solve your problems or not?”
“First of all, I can’t stand Jessie, as much as we laugh a lot. We’re actually taunting each other more than laughing. second, she wears this really strong perfume that burns the hell outta my nose!” He gave me a sideways look with his eyes wide, and for a second or two, I stared at him and said nothing.
Then I shook my head. “Look, that scent will keep you from thirsting the blood. I just thought up this plan in two seconds this morning, so I’m gonna sort it out with Ms. Fletcher.”
Suddenly, there was talking in the distance, and crowds of students walked around us.
Dalton cussed in confusion. “Did the bell ring?”
“I heard nothing!” I winced.
Nate, William, Anthony, Jessie, Jenny and Lewis came walking passed us, laughing loudly.
William noticed us. “Hey! Dalton, Nikki. Here, I’m having a party at my house this Friday. Everyone’s invited.”
He handed us an invitation card that had both our names on it.
Nate snickered. “William’s having a sweet sixteen!” He patted his head roughly, messing his curly long hair.
William winced. “It’s a party, my birthday’s a week later.” He and the group walked away, their chatty voices dying away.
“Ooh, a party. Can’t wait for-” I stopped. He said everyone’s invited. I held my breath and looked up, and turned to watch them walk away, and Lewis was looking back at me, an evil smirk on his face, before he slowly blinked and slowly turned away.

“I can’t believe you really went to that house, Nikki. I would’ve expected you to be scared!” Ms. Fletcher was widening her eyes at me.
I shrugged. “I really was, actually, but….I found me pressing on to find information. I was surprised to see myself doing that.” I had just told her everything about the mansion, Dalton rescuing me and Lewis getting angry with him, and my plan.
“That’s because of your love for Dalton. You wanted to find out the truth about him and everything else and your love pressed you on.”
I rolled my eyes, blushing. “Yeah, whatever.”
Ms. Fletcher chuckled. “Well, about your plan, I don’t see why we can’t just have Father Theodore sneak up on him anytime, rather than use bait and lure him in the mansion.”
“We need Lewis to die in the mansion,” I said roughly. “Just in case vampires turn into ghosts after they die, we don’t want to have angry vampire spirits at the wrong place. We’ll let him die- along with his friends- in that mansion where all the other vampires died. That way they can be together and haunt the house they died in.”
Ms. Fletcher widened her eyes. “Hmm, you’ve got a point there. But I still think it’s dangerous to be using bait, even if Dalton will carry her. Does someone like Jessie even want to cut her wound again so it will bleed?”
“Probably not. But there really is no other way, and I’m not going to volunteer purposely cutting my ankle. It hurts like hell, but Jessie just has a single cut, it will be easier to just use that. Do you have any other plan?”
“Not that I can think of right now. When do plan on doing this?”
“On Friday. It’s the best time. William’s having a party at his house, and everyone he knows is invited, so Lewis and his friends will be there for us to do it. If we just find him after school, and start it, it will take up your time since you’re always staying after school, as well as Lewis may not be altogether with his friends. Do you think you can tell Father Theodore about it so he can be waiting at the mansion on Friday?”
Ms. Fletcher hesitated. “Sure, I can talk to him.”
I gave her a sideways smile. “I really shouldn’t have gone to that house, shouldn’t I? I got Dalton in trouble and now Lewis will be more dangerous than ever. He knows what I’m up to.”
Ms. Fletcher chuckled. “Yeah, you really shouldn’t have risked yourself. Who knows what kind of spirits are in that house? But Lewis needed to be defeated sometime. And before anyone else gets killed, we need to act quickly.”
“Hey, I think I know why Lewis and his friends are even at this school,” I had already told her what Dalton had told me about Lewis’s past. “I think they want to get revenge on Father Theodore by disrupting the school you teach since you’re his daughter.”
“I’ve thought about that as well. My father moved after he turned into a vampire, so the vampires wouldn’t find where he lives. He lives all the way in another state, in Arizona right now, but he’ll be glad to help us here if we need him.”
“I bet Lewis is going to kill me or Dalton since he got pissed at us this morning.”
Ms. Fletcher looked into my eyes. “Well, just be careful and keep cool with Lewis, and say nothing about what you know in front of the others. There’s no point in telling they are vampires since they’re going to take a while to believe it.”
Suddenly Ms. Fletcher widened her eyes. “Oh! Nikki, I forgot to tell you. your cousin Lynn, she knows Lewis and his friends are vampires also.”
I widened my eyes. “What?!” I yelled roughly.
Ms. Fletcher nodded. “She has Aurora’s necklace. She found it a while ago, around the beginning of the school year. I noticed her wearing it one day, and I remembered from a picture my father showed me, that it was Aurora’s necklace. I had to warn her not to wear it again to school because it belongs to someone special that Lewis knows, and has passed away. But Lynn’s a very smart girl, and she even looked up her necklace on the internet and found out it belonged to a vampire named Aurora, so she studied all about her background, and eventually found out about Lewis and his friends being related to her, and being vampires. She even came to me after school on Friday to talk to me about it, and I told her what I knew.”
I frowned. “Cool. Does she know Dalton’s a vampire?”
“I didn’t bother telling her that, but maybe she should. She may help you out, you know. You should talk to her. I didn’t tell her you knew, since I didn’t want her to surprise you by coming over and asking you about it. But she knows some pretty useful information, you should talk to her.”
I rolled my eyes. “We don’t need any information, we just need a strategy to get rid of Lewis.” I said tartly.
“Yes, I know that,” Ms. Fletcher replied in that sarcastic tone, “but I’m saying that you may need some information to help you with your plan. Like, for instance, Aurora’s necklace has her hidden blood in it, but inside the necklace, it can’t be scented by vampires, for her blood has a rare power to it, that she possesses a cure for vampires, that her blood, one drop can cure a dead vampires’ life if it drops into the mouth. Now that can be useful to use, wouldn’t it?”
I winced rudely, then raised my eyebrows. “Actually, yeah, that could be useful. Does Lewis know that her necklace has her blood in it, and that one drop can cure a dead vampire and bring it back to life?”
“Yes, ever since Aurora was killed and burned to ashes by sunlight, the only thing Leonardo had left of her was her necklace that was left behind, so he kept it. But Lynn can explain to you about that. She knows about it. I think I should be with you when you work with your plan, just to make sure nothing happens to you.”
I gave her a sassy smile. “What good are you going to do if you’re with us?”
Ms. Fletcher returned my sassy smile back. “Well, I have some religious materials to use, as well as pepper spray, a pocket knife, and my presence.”
I rolled my eyes smiling. “Just admit you’re just worried about us, seriously.”
Ms. Fletcher stood up and grabbed her grading book, grimacing at me. “Just admit you’re scared of doing this. Now I’ll be with my dad on Friday night, and what time will you be out of the party and doing it?”
“Well, the party starts at eight, so….just be ready around nine.”
Ms. Fletcher gave me a sideways look. “I’ll give you my number. And don’t be giving it to anyone else, okay? If I get any suspicious calls, I’m blaming you.” she gave me a card with her name and number on it.
I took the card. “Whatever.” Then I looked up. “Wait, what can we do about Dalton? What will he do when he’s free from Lewis? He’s still a vampire. He will still thirst for blood, and if he just ignores it completely, he’ll get very weak and…yeah, that’s pretty much it. He won’t die, but he won’t be able to do very much.”
“My father lives on animal blood. He may be able to do that if he chooses.”
“Yeah, I guess. Hopefully he will. I’ll see you later, Ms. Fletcher. Thanks.”
“Bye, Nikki. Have a wonderful day.” She called as I left the door.
I shut the door behind me and took a deep breath, narrowing my eyes in frustration. Suddenly, I looked up and faced Jessie, and screamed.
“Ahh! Relax, Nikki! It’s me, geez!” Jessie winced.
I looked at her. “Oh, sorry. I almost thought you were Jessica. Or Delaney.”
“Hah! Whatever. I just came to tell you that Jeremy’s planning on asking out Delaney at William’s party. I tried telling him she’s not worth it and all, but….ya know.” We started walking home together.
“Hey, guess what? We have to talk to Lynn. Ms. Fletcher tells me she knows about Lewis and his friends, and has the necklace of Leonardo’s wife, Aurora. The necklace contains Aurora’s blood, and one drop of it can bring a vampire back to life, but Lewis can’t smell it because it’s hidden in the necklace gem. I’ve seen her necklace before! It’s sliver, and it’s got a silver gem with a red dot in the middle.”
“Ooh, cool. How com I’ve never seen her wear it?”
“Because Lewis will recognize it,” I said sourly. “Okay, I’m gonna find Lynn. You wanna come?”
“Eh, sure. I was gonna bug Jeremy about asking Delaney out, but okay, whatever. Hey, can I please tell James about this? He can keep a secret! Especially if I tell him.”
“No! There’s lotsa people who I can trust to tell, but I’m not wasting my time trying to get them to believe. All we’re gonna say when Lewis is gone, is that he did the murders, and stabbed them with a knife, or something. We’re not gonna say anything about vampires. And by the way, Lewis knows I know now.”
Jessie whipped her head to face me. “What?! Really?”
“He was about to beat the crap outta Dalton this morning if Nate and I hadn’t showed up. But then, he-”
“Oh yeah, I heard about that.” Then Jessie giggled. “And yet, those jerks were still hanging out with Lewis!”
I coughed. “You were too! He doesn’t know anything about you knowing so you can hang out with him comfortably.”
“Well, hell yeah! He’s hot! I’m so jealous of Jenny, they hold hands and chat like there’s no tomorrow, they almost remind me of you and Dalton when you two talk with each other! And have you felt his hair? It’s so stiff, like you can shoot it and there will be a hole through his hair!”
I laughed. “Yeah, he’s got awesome hair, it’s the best I’ve ever seen, it’s worse than mine.”
I texted Lynn and she was at the shopping center with her friends. I told her we had to talk, so she met with us at the corner of the shopping center where it was empty and quiet.
“So you know about Lewis and his bloodsucking friends, huh?” Lynn gave us a sideways look. “And you want to get rid of him that way?”
“Well, Jessie doesn’t really want to cut her hand open again, so I think we can use the necklace in some way, but first tell us a little about it.” I said.
“Is it pretty? I’d like to see it!” Said Jessie.
“It’s quite entrancing, yeah,” Lynn shrugged. “But I found it when I rode my bike on Full Moon Street. I had ridden up to the mansion, and found it lying there. I don’t know why, but it was there, so I took it and kept it for a long time. It says Leonardo kept the necklace with him his whole life after Aurora was killed. So I guess when I found it, he must have arrived here somewhere. I did find it at the beginning of the school year, and it was somewhere around the time Lewis arrived. And when I looked up the internet on the necklace, it says that even though there’s a drop of Aurora’s blood in the necklace, after it is poured out, another drop forms, and it can be used for eternity…until the necklace is burned.
“And another thing, her blood can not only bring a vampire back to life, but if it is used on a living vampire, it can turn them back to human again.....and they lose all their vampire powers.”
I widened my eyes and Jessie and I looked at each other.
“Hey,” Jessie said cleverly. “Why not just use that on Lewis rather than just kill him? just turn him to a normal person without fangs, super white skin, supersonic speed……incredible strength…..bloodthirstiness…..uh! It’s still gonna be hard, but at least we’re not totally killing him altogether!”
Lynn chuckled with a troubled look on her face. “Hehe, I think he’ll just become an equally terrible person. He might just start killing people physically for no reason. He’ll just become just as much dangerous as he is as a vampire right now.”
Jessie raised her eyebrows. “Oh yeah, he’s dangerous all right. And of course he’ll still be just as dangerous when he’s no vampire, he’s always smokin’!”
Lynn giggled. “Yeah, of course. I still love him even though he’ll probably kill me the next day.”
I laughed. “Yeah, me too. But maybe we can open up the gem on the necklace, and then when Lewis and the others smell it, they chase us all the way to the mansion where Father Theodore could be waiting. Then that’s when he gets rid of them. We’re doing it on William’s party since that’s when we could all meet up and get them altogether.”
“Well…okay, I’ll bring my necklace. They can’t scent the blood in the necklace, but even once it’s open, and they come after it, what about Leonardo? We should get rid of him as well, so he’s not even angrier once he finds Lewis and the others are gone.”
“I’ve got that figured out,” I said quickly. “I figured that Leonardo’s always lurking around wherever Lewis is. Like that one time I found Mrs. Yoselinda’s body and I was attacked? That was Leonardo, and Lewis was with him. When Lewis first joined our school, you found Leonardo’s necklace so he had arrived as well. When I was in the mansion, Leonardo was with Lewis and his friends. So he should be lurking around the party since Lewis will be there.”
“Do you think they’re planning on killing anyone at the party?” Jessie shivered.
“Probably,” I shrugged. “There’s gonna be so much people since it’s a big party, it’ll be easy to pick off someone random.” I paused. “Except it probably won’t be all random to kill.”
Jessie snickered. “Lewis can’t kill you. You’re always losing your head and crazing around with big groups of friends that he can’t just kill you in front of everybody.”
I shrugged. “Just meet together at 9:00 when we’re at the party. Kay?”
“Sure,” said Lynn.
Jessie sighed. “Whatever. Hey! Can I carry the necklace and lure them? Dalton can take me.”
I winced at her. “You want to have Dalton carry you?”
Jessie hesitated. “Well, as long as I have the necklace, yeah. I love accessories.”
I shrugged. “Sure. If you really wanna risk yourself.”
Lynn turned to her. “But Lewis will find out that you’ve been knowing about the vampires if you hold it. He’s already after Nikki, but he doesn’t know you, me or Ms. Fletcher knows.”
“So what? He’ll be dead shortly after he finds out,” said Jessie.

It was the Friday we were going to William’s party. We have been doing track in P.E., and today was the race around the track. Our classes were sitting on the benches, and I was chatting noisily with Joshua, Jessie, Dalton, Jeremy, Ashton, and Louise on the top bench. We were laughing noisily and poking at Joshua. “Eyyy, don’t be touching my necklace, b****!” Joshua yelled at Louise. She smacked at his head with her gloves. “It’s probably not even yours!” “Yeah, Joshua! You stole it from Cassandra!” I yanked at his necklace. “Eyyy, don’t pull at it, hussy!” Dalton laughed. “Dude, you took that earring from Tesseline, didn’t you?” He shoved him against Jessie. “Yes, I stole it from her and DON’T PUSH ME TO JESSIE!” Jessie made a disgusted face and pushed him back towards Dalton. “Aw! Sick, Jessie, I don’t love Dalton!” Joshua yelled. Nate turned and laughed. “Oh yeah? Or do you….?” Louise laughed. “Shut up, Nate!” She took Joshua’s hat and threw it at him. Nate caught it and turned. “Hey, Anthony!” He threw it towards him and Anthony dropped it to the ground. “Ohhh, look! See what you did, sister? Gimme back my hat!” Joshua yelled. “Here, take Ashton’s!” Jeremy took his hat. “Ow! Hey! We can’t even have hats here!” Said Ashton. “Yeah, and Anthony’s just a sucky catcher,” I said. “No, Nate sucks at throwing!” Said Dalton. Nate came over to Dalton’s side with Anthony behind him. “Yeah? You suck at everything!” Nate laughed. Anthony snickered. “You can’t even play soccer right!” “Yeah, Nate sucks at both too, so screw off,” he pushed Nate back, and he would’ve fallen off the top of the bench if he Ashton didn’t grab his arm. Ashton laughed. “That really wasn’t worth it!” “Yeah, you just made yourself look gay!” Jeremy nudged him. Dalton snickered. “No that wasn’t gay! This is gay!” He sat on Nate’s lap. Everyone sitting around them laughed. “You freak, Dalton!” I yelled roughly. Dalton looked at Anthony. “It’s like he sits on him to keep him from falling!” He started cracking up. “Ahh! Get off of me!” Nate called him a cuss word and pushed him off and he fell between me and Jessie on his side. Jessie immediately slapped his side and I pushed his head forward and he yelled a cuss word. Joshua laughed. “Ey, you deserve it, man! You like Nate? You tryin’ to get Nikki jealous?” He cracked up. I punched his leg and Louise poked his shoulder with her finger next to him. her hands were white and bare, for we weren’t allowed to have nothing else on but the shirt and pants that were our P.E. clothes, and socks and sneakers. “Ow! Dang, girl! What is it with you and those whacky claws! And on your gloves too!” Suddenly, Mr. Albrecht blew his whistle and all the classes stopped chatting- all except for the group of me, Joshua, Jessie, Dalton, Louise, Nate, Anthony, and Jeremy. We were the only ones still laughing and talking, and everyone turned to look at us. “Eyyy! Don’t be pullin’ at my hair, tall boy!” He spit passed Nate. “My hair ain’t for guys!” Dalton turned. “Well, it ain’t for girls either!” “Yeah, Lewis’s hair is for girls, d***head!” I yelled. “Why does Joshua have a rubber ehhh………..” Jessie turned and noticed Mr. Albrecht and the other P.E. teachers staring at us with stern eyes, as well as the other students around us. We all started to notice and quieted down. “You done yet?” Mr. Albrecht asked indignantly in his firm voice. “Yeah,” I answered. “You sure?” “Yeah,” Joshua said. Mr. Albrecht turned to all the other students. “Alright! We’re going to be doing the track race, and each class is sitting on different benches right now. Each class will pick one person who is the best runner in their class, and the best runners will race each other from all around the track. Then, we’ll do it a few more times with different people each time. So start choosing!” I immediately turned to Dalton. “Hey! You can run at supersonic speed, can’t you?” I hissed quietly as soon as everyone started chatting to choose. “No! I’m weak right now! I haven’t been drinking any blood lately!” I winced. “You carried me away from Leonardo!” “That was after I barely got something with Lewis. I haven’t had anything since that,” he replied. Louise tapped my shoulder with her sharp finger. Even though she wasn’t allowed to wear gloves during P.E., she still had pretty sharp fingers. I turned and met her sassy smile. “Why don’t you go? You’re pretty fast, I’ve seen you.” She winked at me. I smiled sassily back. “No, actually, why don’t you go? You have more energy, you know.” I winked back. “Oh wait! You guys! Lewis is going!” Jessie told us. I turned and saw Lewis in a horizontal line with a student from each class, and there were only three of them altogether. “Wait, Louise! You’re in the other class, and they need someone,” Dalton turned to her. “Yeah, you too, Joshua, you’re not in our class, get off this bench,” I pushed him and he made an annoying noise at me. Louise groaned. “Uhh! Fine! I’m not gonna beat Lewis anyway, though, you know that!” She glared at me and Dalton before whipping her head away and stomping over to the line. Joshua had seen that. “Hehe, of course she’s not.” “Are they really going to run like a vampire and surprise everyone like that?” I whispered to Dalton. “Nah, I don’t think they’re gonna run that fast, just fast enough to beat everybody,” he replied. I looked and saw Louise give Lewis a sassy smile and say something in a sassy tone that I can’t hear. Lewis smiled crookedly back and muttered something in reply. “Alright!” Yelled Mr. Albrecht. He blew the whistle, and everyone immediately started running. I saw that Lewis and Louise were in the lead, though they weren’t running to the point when they looked like a blur. They were only a foot or two ahead of the other two students, who both had mile club. Dalton snickered. “Louise was the only vampire to try out for mile club, the rest of us didn’t bother.” “Lewis is still the fastest one, though. Isn’t he?” I watched as Lewis sped a little faster as they passed the half part of the track. Louise was speeding faster, and since neither were going their fastest, Louise passed up Lewis, and when they turned around the last corner, Lewis sped up, almost looking like a blur, and made it back to the start. Louise finished second and the last two were third and fourth. Everyone cheered and both girls and guys screamed and shouted Lewis’s name. “Well done, Dafoe,” Mr. Albrecht did the slide and knock with his hand with Lewis. “Alright! Now we’re moving on! That’s one winner from Mr. Albrecht’s class! Let’s see if anyone can beat that!” Mrs. Carol announced. Mr. McDaniels was urging his class on. “Yeah! C’mon, people! Let’s show those slowpokes who’re the cheetahs in the school!” His class cheered loudly. “Shut up! We’re the class always jogging every day before starting our games!” Dalton yelled at Mr. McDaniels. Mr. McDaniels gave him a mischievous challenging look. “Oh yeah? And you guys are still that slow?” He teased. “Hey, shut up! I just won for us!” Lewis turned as he walked up the benches after Louise. He was returning Mr. McDaniel’s gaze. “Yeah, he wasn’t even in mile!” Jeremy yelled. “Even your mile runners are too slow for him!” Louise gave him a push. “Yeah? We’ve got more mile runners than you!” Tess shouted. “And we’ve got more fast people!” Mr. McDaniels laughed. “Seriously, I saw Louise pass up Lewis. She just needed to run faster.” Joshua laughed. “Your class never does warm up jogs! So oh!” I winced at him. “You’re in his class, Joshua!” “Yeah, man!” Mr. McDaniels gave him a confused smile as everybody laughed at him. “What are you? A traitor now?” Joshua looked embarrassed. “Uh, yeah! Your class is full of slow people!” “Yeah, McDaniels!” I laughed. “You’re too nice to give your class warm up jogs! That’s why they’re all as slow as you!” Mr. McDaniels widened his eyes and smiled mischievously. “Oh, you’ll regret that, you will regret that! C’mon people! Let’s show ‘em who’re the runners here!” His class cheered. Jessie laughed and sighed. “Why can’t we have a teacher like Mr. McDaniels?” Louise laughed. “Hah! You wanna be slow like them?” I gave her a sideways look. “You know, his class is the one with more vampires,” I said quietly. Dalton snickered. “Not to mention you’re one of them as well.” Louise smiled innocently. “Yeah, well, if you think you can beat them, why don’t you try racing this time? Lewis already went.” “Okay, sure,” Dalton rose up. I whipped my head to him. “What?! Are you sure?” Dalton smirked. “Mr. McDaniels just pissed me off, I’m showing him what speed really is!” “But aren’t you-” Jessie started to say. “Hey, I may not be as fast as I really would be, but not slow to the point a human can beat me,” he said. Louise rolled her eyes and huffed. “What about being faster than you know what?” She said sassily. “Hey, look. That mile girl’s running for Mr. McDaniels’s class,” Dalton pointed out and made his way to the line. But then I saw the girl come up to Mr. Albrecht and talk to him, and then she made her way to the bench. “You’ve gotta tell me first next time!” Mr. Albrecht called after her. “Oh great,” I rolled my eyes. “What was her problem?” Jessie huffed. “Probably thought she was too slow and decided to make an excuse that she was too sick to run.” I looked down and blinked. Could Dalton still be risking himself by doing this? I sighed and looked at the line of racers, and gasped in surprise as I saw Delaney at Dalton’s side. I cussed. “She’s gonna beat him. I know it,” I said through clenched teeth. “’Course she will,” said a voice from behind. I whipped around and winced as Lewis came to sit by my side. He gave me a crooked smile. “She’s the fastest and most skilled vampire after me. You know that already, don’t you?” I gave him a wry smile. “Yeah, and that Dalton is too weak to run like a vampire since he’s not getting know.” I said sassily. “You know why?” He said quietly. “Because he’s too scared and too harmless. He’s too soft to hurt a human for their blood, and too scared to kill them. I was wrong about him. He only picks up the blood from humans we kill, or from humans that get so close to him, he can’t help but bite them and suck the blood from them. Like Danielle. I was wrong about him. He’s no vampire. And he’s no regular punk kid either. He’s just a scared, harmless little kid at heart with a problem in his life that makes him act like a brat.” I would’ve objected that and cussed a response, but Lewis sounded too savage when he said that, and his eyes were looking into mine with an expression that looked like he was hungry and going to eat me. I realized he was leaning towards me, and winced at him. “Why didn’t you know that at first?” I asked. “You notice so many things, why didn’t you notice that?” He chuckled. “I knew he was trying to hide his problems with an aggressive ‘cool’ attitude, but I didn’t know he was really that harmless at heart, even when he was weak and thirsty.” The whistle blew, and I turned to watch as Delaney immediately took the lead, with Dalton just a few inches in front of the other two. “Oh, gosh,” Jessie said rudely. “He doesn’t have to run that slow.” Everyone was cheering everyone on, and I yelled, “C’mon, Dalton! Run faster!” I was sure he heard me, for Delaney was getting farther and farther, and Dalton sped up until he was only a few inches away from Delaney. “Yeah, that’s it! Let’s go!” Jessie screamed. I heard Nate and Anthony urge him on from the back. “Yeah, Dalton! Come on!” Louise shouted. Lewis turned to her. “What makes you think he can really do it? He’ll just wear himself out. I can scent it.” Louise huffed. “Um, yeah? That’s why I’m cheering him on so he’ll go faster? Duh!” “How can you scent he’s running out of energy anyway?” I turned to Lewis. He smiled at me. “His blood. It’s getting tired. He needs to drink more in order to replenish it. It’s how a vampire lives. He’s as good as dead if he runs out of all his energy.” Dalton suddenly slowed down and Delaney sped up, turning around the corner. Dalton was still farther away from the other two, though they were speeding up as well. As soon as he rounded the corner, he ran into a slight blur, passed Delaney and made it back. Our class cheered, all except for Lewis and Louise. Lewis turned around to meet Louise’s gaze, and Louise had a smile on her face with raised eyebrows. She bent over and whispered something to Lewis. “Oh! Oh! What, Mr. McDaniels!” Jeremy yelled. “Yeah, in your face slowpoke! Who’s lazy now!” Jessie shouted. Mr. McDaniels raised his eyebrows at us and smiled mischievously. “Oh, yeah? she could’ve won! She beat him for a while there!” After a few more races, Mr. Albrecht let us race whoever we wanted. “I’ll race you, Jessie,” I said to her, smiling slyly. Jessie rolled her eyes and whipped away, laughing nervously. “I suck at racing! I wish I were a vampire!” I kicked her heels. “Shh!” I hissed, looking around. She whipped around to me and blushed. “Did anyone hear that?” “Yeah. Nice, Jessie,” Dalton kicked a tiny pebble at her. “I’ll race ya, Jessie,” Tess came over with Tesseline behind. “Fine. I’ll race you both.” We watched Jessie race, and I sat with Jenny, Dalton, Joshua, Nate, Anthony, and Ashton. Joshua snickered. “She tripped!” He muttered as we saw Jessie stumble when she was halfway around, and almost fell over. She was behind Tess and in front of Tesseline. Jenny sighed. “I wish I could race Lewis. But he’s too fast, I’d only humiliate myself.” She said dreamily. Dalton turned to her with an annoyed look. “Yeah, you would.” Jessie finished in second place. We came over to her. “Told you I’d suck. Many kids would beat me,” she complained. We were about to sit back to our spot on the benches, until we found Lewis, Louise, Delaney, Shawn, and Justin sitting there. Everyone took no noticed, though I hesitated. Nate and Anthony sat behind them and started chatting with them noisily, and Jessie was laughing with Tess and Tesseline, and Joshua and Ashton sat in front of them, talking with them as well. I looked around for Dalton. I saw him making his way down towards the hill slowly, his arms swinging in front of him. I winced, looked around, and snuck over after him. “Ey, Nikki! Where ya going!” Joshua yelled after me. I muttered a cuss word at him, ignoring him for once, and headed towards the downhill. Luckily, Dalton had already disappeared around the bushes before anyone saw who I was following, so I pressed on. I looked around as I got around the bushes. “Dalton?” I called. I realized my eyes were starting to narrow. I looked up and realized the sun was coming out. It peeked over behind the white clouds. I bet Dalton was just finding a place to get away from the small amount of sunlight, for he was sensitive to the smallest amount of sun. Then I saw him disappear into the boys’ locker room. “Hey! Dalton!” I yelled. I ran down the hill, running so fast that I tripped and scraped my hands down the rough concrete. I cussed and held my hands together, and saw that my right one was bleeding at the palm. It almost dripped out. There was a small piece of thorn stuck under my middle finger. I squeezed my hand shut and ran into the locker room. I peeked in. “Dalton?” He appeared from the bathroom. He looked tired. He walked down the room, paused, and then fell to his side. “Dalton!” I yelled. I rushed in and squatted to his side. His arm was stretched out in front of his face, and his skin looked whitish, grayish. “Oh, great,” I muttered. I looked at my hand. It wasn’t enough, but I did it anyway. I took his hand, the cuts a dull red, looking like they were starting to dry up and heal, though some looked brown and gross, as if he had reopened them. I rubbed by blood against his hand, and winced at the thorn. I pulled it out as quick as I can, so I felt no pain, and quickly pressed my hand against his, feeling the pain drip right out. I let go and saw that my blood covered his entire hand. Suddenly, I felt like I was being watched. I winced and looked around. Was Lewis here? Did he follow me? I heard something on the other side of the row of lockers, as if someone had ran across the floor. I whipped my head around, getting up slowly, backing away. I looked behind me, and suddenly I was whacked to the floor and a dark figure leaped over me, moving so fast I still didn’t get to see his face. It was Leonardo, I knew it. I caught a glimpse of his cape as he leaped onto me like a blur. He grabbed my hand and bit into where the blood was, and it hurt like hell. I screamed at the top of my lungs, even louder than when Kenneth pissed the heck outta me. I felt the life sucking out of me already, and my scream turned into a groan, and I felt weak like I was about to disappear. It was the worst pain I have ever felt. Suddenly, I felt the teeth come out from my hand, and the dark figure vanished from on top of me. I caught a glimpse of Dalton clashing with the dark figure, and then suddenly, they tumbled away and disappeared. I lay there, breathing slowly, staring up at the ceiling, feeling the life slowly run out of me. Then suddenly, I felt strange. I felt recovered, then felt it sucking away again, back to my dying state. Then it slowly returned back, and I felt like I could get up again. I slowly rose up, only to feel tired and dying again, falling over to my side. This happened about a few more times before I felt like I was going to throw up. I groaned and took one look at my hand, all bloody and destroyed on the front, and shot up, running to the bathroom in the locker room, and threw up in the closest stall. I threw up multiple times, vomiting heavily, feeling like I was throwing up the life in me. Suddenly, I finally stopped vomiting and panted, and licked my lip, then spit as I tasted it. It tasted like blood. I sat there in horror, then looked over to the toilet, and saw it filled to the top with dark red blood. “Ugh!” I groaned, disgusted. I held my breath, and felt the need to throw up some more. I immediately flushed the toilet, throwing up more and more, vomiting immediately after each one, each vomit heavier than the one before. I stopped and groaned loudly, falling back, hitting my head against the stall door, panting. Why was I throwing up like this? This was just what happened to Dalton! I could barely gasp as the thought dreaded through my head. Was I turning into a…..vampire? No, I must be. This was how Dalton turned into one after Lewis bit into him. Leonardo just bit me, though it must’ve not been enough. I must be turning into a vampire. “No,” I whispered dreadfully, then suddenly barfed up more and more blood, feeling like I’ve been barfing for ten more minutes straight. I finally panted, feeling like I was empty now, though the thoughts of me becoming a vampire dreaded me. I would be immortal, of course, though I didn’t exactly wanted to be. Sometimes I longed for death, wanting to die, and if I were immortal, I would have to go through seeing the death of those around me who weren’t immortal, and I really didn’t want to see stuff like that. I also didn’t want to be thirsting for blood all the time, I just didn’t. I groaned loudly, and threw up some more, even though I didn’t feel like I needed to. Surprisingly, more blood still came out. I winced, and made myself throw up again, and even more blood came out, still dark and new like nothing happened. I felt the grief in me rise, so I continued to let the blood rise out from inside of me, and felt like I was doing it for a whole hour, until suddenly, the blood turned bright red and light, and finally, when I made myself throw up, it was nothing but this morning’s breakfast. I couldn’t throw up anymore blood. I felt dizzy and hyperventilated, and my eyes rolled back, and I fell back against the corner of the stall. I woke up, feeling lightheaded. Everything was a blur to me, until I blinked several times, and looked around. I was still in the bathroom of….the boys’ locker room. I groaned and banged my head back. I suddenly remembered what had happened to me. I quickly felt all my teeth, and felt nothing sharp. I looked at my arms, and they still had their slightly tan color. I gasped, then sighed in relief. I was still human. I got up, and winced. Why hadn’t I turned into a vampire? Dalton turned into one right after he threw up, so why hadn’t I turned into one? I opened the stall, and heard nothing. I widened my eyes, realizing I must have been lying there for a while, and I was probably supposed to be in my history class right now. I rushed out the door, and ran to room C9 as fast as I can, thankfully not ending up as fast as a vampire. Suddenly, the bell rang, and room C9 opened up and my class started crowding out the doorway. I saw Nate, Dalton, and William leave, laughing loudly. I winced and made my way with the class to lunch. “Nikki! Where were you, you missed the day history was actually fun today!” Jeremy came up behind me. Ashton came over. “Yeah, Mrs. Palmer had her hair down today, not in a tight bun when she’s in a bad mood.” Jessie joined me, putting on lipstick. “Yeah, you were going down the hill. And you had no pass. Were you ditching? ‘Cause that was the wrong time to ditch history.” “Uh…..I was stuck in the bathrooms,” was all I could think of saying. I felt too dizzy to think up an excuse. After school, I met up with Dalton by the math class…..right where he had killed Danielle. I told him what had happened to me. Dalton snickered. “You really didn’t have to give up your blood, you know. I’m still really weak, it was a waste of losing blood. And Leonardo was there. He preyed on a girl in non-IB.” I gasped. “No way, not again.” “Yep, that’s why he was here. He snuck in from the back immediately as he smelled your blood. I can’t believe I really chased him away.” I clenched my teeth. “Well, the question is, why didn’t I turn into a vampire after throwing up a bunch of blood. I mean, not that I wanna be a vampire, I just want to know-” “I can answer that for you,” came a voice behind us. We turned and saw Lewis appear from behind the wall. He was keeping his eye on me, smiling slyly with his eyes narrowed, and his left eye looking through strands from his hair. He shifted his eyes to flash a glance at Dalton, but he kept his eyes on me, as if he was thirsting for me. “You threw up enough blood, unlike your bloodless vampire boyfriend, who didn’t try hard. The blood was mixing with you , but you threw it all up before it could turn you into a vampire. Lucky you, you could’ve become a vampire and what would happen to me then?” He raised his eyebrows. “You wouldn’t be able to die.” He smiled. His eyes bore into mine, and for a moment, I was transfixed with his beauty. The wind ruffled the strands over his eye, and he looked back into my eyes, his crooked smile not changing. Dalton yelled a cuss word and I snapped out of it. “Damn, I just didn’t feel the need to throw up some more. I felt too dizzy also. Dammit!” “Well, I didn’t either, but when I purposely did it myself, I found that I could keep doing it…until there was no more blood to mix in.” I told him. “Crud, I really hate myself,” he started cussing at himself. “Oh? Do you regret being a vampire? And Nikki? You don’t want to be one? I always thought you were the emo side, somewhat not minding killing yourself like a dark, unhappy, quiet person.” I winced. “Me? Quiet? Hell no, I ain’t quiet. I’m crazy, everyone says that the first ten seconds they meet me.” He chuckled. “I know that, of course. Anyone could tell that.” He blinked slowly and started walking away. Then he turned. “Oh, and by the way, see you both at the party tonight,” he suddenly ran towards us like a blur, landing in front of both of us. I gasped and saw that he was crouching down like an animal, licking a red spot on the ground, and then he dashed off, out of sight. I stared at the ground. The red spot must’ve been Danielle’s blood from months ago….of course.

I had a bandage wrapped around my wounded hand as I drove with Edward in his car. He made me sit in the back and had Lynn sit in the front next to him.
“Not lettin’ you in the front like last time,” he told me as we drove.
I rolled my eyes and kicked at his seat and called him a name. He called me one back and the two of us spat dirty comments to each other.
Lynn rolled her eyes. “Stop it! Gosh! I should be in my own car at my own house; I don’t know why I still come over to visit you guys!”
“Because you love us,” Edward teased her.
“No I don’t,” she said rudely, texting on her phone. She had the necklace in her hot pink sweater’s pocket.
We arrived at William house, and I’d heard the music all the way from the other side of the neighborhood.
“Holy crap,” Edward parked his car to the side of the house, in the middle a line of other cars.
The front yard was crowded with tables and people. William’s house was two story, and pretty huge.
“Wow, they really must be driving the neighbors crazy,” I stared at the place with a sideways look.
Lynn chuckled. “I bet we’ll have the police ragging on us before the party’s over at ten.”
We got out and walked passed all the people.
“Geez, where the hell’s William? I don’t even know where anyone’s at!” Edward shouted.
“I don’t know all these people!” I yelled, pushing a drunken man away from me.
We got up to his house. Everyone was partying and laughing, and we heard some music inside as well.
Edward rolled his eyes and banged at the door, and yanked the doorbell. “Hey, William! It’s us! We’re here!” he banged louder and louder and the door.
I winced at him and punched his shoulder out of the way. “I think it should already be open, stupid.” I opened up the front door, and saw his house with people, though not as crowded as outside. There were crowds of people talking here and there, drinking punch, beer, soda, and even wine.
“Nikki! Hey, Nikki! Edward! Lynn! Over here!” Came Jenny’s voice. We looked over to the right and saw people I knew from my class hanging out by the kitchen. Jenny was with Jessie, James, Dalton, Nate, William, Anthony, Ashton, Jeremy, and Lewis and his friends.
We joined them. “Sup. Happy birthday, William. What are you? Sixteen?” Edward did the slide and knock with his and William’s hands.
Nate laughed and Dalton gave a naughty smile and said indignantly, “He’s fifteen! He just turned fifteen! He’s too young!”
“You started school when you were, like, three or something?” Jessie laughed.
William sideways smiled. “Eh, more like four, actually. Jenny’s the nerd, she started school when she was three.”
“So was Lewis!” She said. “And I was about to turn four anyway!”
We partied and talked and laughed, and I looked around for Jeremy.
I pulled at Jessie’s arm. “Oh, gosh, where’s Jeremy? He was gonna ask Delaney out tonight.”
Jessie gasped and set down her glass. “Oh! You’re right! Where’s the little-”
“Wait a second! You’re drinking wine?” I winced at her half empty tall glass.
“Yeah,” she shrugged. “So what? You’re gonna tattle on my parents?”
“What…..does it taste like? Blood?” I asked.
She shrugged. “Dunno. Tastes like blood and grapes to me.”
We saw Jeremy at the top of William’s long stairs, staring down at Delaney, who stood at the bottom of the stairs, as it looked like, with eyes focused, like an animal ready to attack its prey. We came up to him and he didn’t turn to us.
I laughed and gave him a shove. “What? You planning on raping her from here?”
“Yeah! No, I’m going to trip down the stairs and when she notices me and asks if I’m alright, I get her into feeling bad for me, then I ask her out.” He replied. He was eating a bag of chips.
Jessie was twirling her hair and then winced at him. “What?! Freako, Delaney’s not gonna feel bad for you, homie. She ain’t got no feelings.”
“For me, she does,” he smiled. “We mess around a lot.”
I chuckled. “You mess around with everyone, Dalton.”
Suddenly, Ashton was coming up from the stairs with Jenny following him, looking down.
“Hey, guys,” Ashton hissed to us as he came up. “Guess what Jenny’s going to do.”
Jessie sighed dreamily. “Make out with Lewis? Ohhh, how I’d love to do that…”
“That’s exactly it, Jessie,” she said cleverly.
Jessie shook violently from leaning on the rails, widening her eyes at her. Jeremy spit out his soda down the stairs in surprise.
I ran up to her. “What?! You’re kidding right?!”
She shook her head, her face suddenly brimming with excitement. “We’re going to do it! Seriously! Don’t look at me crazy, he asked me to do it himself!”
I turned to Jessie with a look of horror, but instead, she was giving her look of horror to Jenny.
“Whaaat!!” She squealed. “Uhhh! You’re really going to- I am sooo going to kill you tonight!!! Lucky, brat!”
I was going to remind her she didn’t have to kill her.
Ashton raised his eyebrows. “Huh! I bet he was drunk when he said that!”
“No, Lewis doesn’t drink. Remember he told us that?” Jeremy said.
I remembered that. But then I winced. If vampires don’t eat or drink anything but blood, then what was that Delaney was drinking? I turned to the bottom of the stairs to get a good look, but she was gone from her spot.
Jeremy noticed that as well. “What? Ohhh! Now she’s gone! I’ll have to find her in the midst of all these stupid people now! Have fun with Lewis, Jenny!” He stomped down the stairs.
“Jenny? Seriously!” I screamed myself at her. “In here?”
“Look! My dad’s always checking what I’m up to, and he’s very strict with me, and doesn’t let me go to any boy’s house unless he stays there as well!” Jenny said indignantly. “You guys know that!”
“Why would he let you go to a boy’s party then?” Ashton asked.
Jenny gave him a sideways look. “He doesn’t know it’s William’s party. I told him it was Analiese’s since she lives down the street from William.”
“Oh yeah, huh,” I said. “Poor her.”
“And plus, William has the coolest guest room upstairs! Did you guys see it?” Jenny squealed.
Suddenly, Analiese was coming up with William, Louise, Lewis, and Jessica.
Lewis looked up at her and smiled. She smiled back.
“Hey, William! Where was your super cool guest room again?” Jenny called.
William pointed to the right. “Down the hall next to my parents’ room.”
“Oh. Can we check it out?” She and Lewis disappeared down there before he could answer.
I felt lightheaded. “Jenny! You can’t! He’s a-” the door shut before I could finish.
I looked and saw Jessie in the middle of a chatty conversation, chatting with Analiese, William, Ashton, and Lewis’s friends. She was laughing her head off, slapping Shawn’s shoulder multiple times.
What was wrong with her? Was she a little drunk from the wine? I grabbed her shoulder and pulled her to me.
“Jessie!” I hissed roughly. “Jenny…is going to do it…..with Lewis! What do we do?”
“Huh? Oh! Yeah, go find Lynn! Quick! And Dalton! I need her necklace, we need to act quickly.”
“Ugh, I’ll never find her soon in this party house. I’ll text her and Dalton. You keep talking with Lewis’s friends and make sure they stay together. We need them all to chase us.”
“Okay,” she turned and gave Shawn a slap again.
Jenny was in the bathroom of the guest room, putting on perfume and taking down her ponytail, brushing her hair. She hummed a happy tune to herself, and put down her brush, and turned to dry her hands- and faced Lewis behind her.
She gasped in surprise, then breathed. “Oh, it’s you! Huh! I didn’t hear you come in! Sorry I’m taking so long, I’ll be out there soon. Just give me a minute and we’ll do it! And can you take down your hair? I’d love to see you with your hair down. I bet it’s a lot longer than mine!”
Lewis was looking down at her through narrowed, evil eyes. “Yes, I can do that.” He said calmly. He muttered something under his breath.
“What?” Her smile was twitching.
“Nothin’,” he turned away, about to leave. “Just enjoying watching you get ready. You’re really pretty in all your clothes.”
She giggled and turned back around. “Yeah, everyone says that.” She focused on her hair in the mirror, taking her brush.
Suddenly Lewis slowly turned back around to Jenny. He licked his teeth. “Hey, Jenny?”
“Yeah?” She turned to him, and as soon as she faced him, immediately, he whacked his arm hard against her face, whacking her all the way against the wall, bumping her head unconscious.
He looked down at her with an evil look on his face, glaring down at her unconscious body.
Downstairs, I paced around impatiently. I looked up the stairs and wondered what was going on in there. I wanted to go up and listen to what was happening, but Lynn told me to wait for her by the stairs.
Delaney walked passed me, shifting her blue narrowed, piercing eyes at me with a piercing glance, and then looked away, disappearing into the kitchen. I stared after her, wincing, curious to know what she had been drinking. It was blood, I knew that, for it shouldn’t be anything else, but I wanted to see where she got it, and what she was up to. And I cursed Jessie; wasn’t she supposed to make sure all of Lewis’s friends stuck together?
I followed her into the kitchen, the music quieting down from the distance, and saw that the kitchen was huge, and tables were filled with soda, soft drinks, all kinds of drinks. I got to the end of the counter, and saw tall glasses in rows, with wine. They were a light color of red as I looked at them all, but then the one at the end……had a darker color of red…and matched the color of blood and was the only one that stood out.
I bit my lip and looked around me, seeing no one in the kitchen, not even Delaney or a single group of people. I heard the partying in the distance, but I was alone. I looked at the glass. Why in the heck would there be a glass of blood in William’s house? Maybe it wasn’t even blood, maybe it was something…else.
I swallowed, biting my lip, and took the glass in my hand, slowly bringing it to my mouth. I tasted blood before, of course, when I threw up, and I wasn’t too grossed out by the taste, and if this really was wine, I would like to try it anyway.
I brought the glass to my lips, and sipped slowly, taking one swallow, and set the glass down. It did taste like blood, and it seemed to stick to my teeth, and I licked around, wincing at the taste, not enjoying it at all, though for some reason, I was enjoying the acrid taste.
“Like it?” A smooth, sly female voice muttered behind me.
I gasped and whipped around, facing Delaney. She was looking at me with her piercing blue eyes, narrowed, looking into me.
“Uh….in a way, yeah, actually,” I replied. “But you can have it, I just wanted to know if it really was blood.”
Delaney chuckled. She took the glass. “You know, William didn’t do this, Leonardo did. It was just so we can look like we were drinking something during the party.”
“Oh,” I replied. I took a glass of wine, hesitated, and then sipped. I winced. “Huh, doesn’t taste too different actually.”
Delaney gave a soft chuckle.
Suddenly there was a moan from the entrance to the kitchen, and Jessie stomped in. “Uhh! What is taking them so long? Nikki! You’re supposed to be waiting-” Then she paused as she noticed Delaney. “Oh! Hehe, hi, didn’t know you were here!” Jessie huffed and took a glass of wine and sipped. “You know…’re s’posed to be with….uh, Louise, and the twins, and Jessica, and everyone else…uh…” Jessie fell back against the counter, breathing, and taking another sip of wine.
Delaney winced and nodded. “Mmm-hmm. Yeah, I probably should. Why’s that?”
I blinked, wincing at Jessie, and took another sip from my wine as well.
“What?” Jessie looked at her with a bored look on her face. “Oh, we need you to stick together so we can all get rid of you bloodsucking freaks, and such.” She shrugged and sipped.
“Oh?” Said Delaney.
I gasped in horror, and sipped some more wine, and poked at Jessie shoulder. “Idiot!”
“Owww, d-don’t hit me, Nikki, ‘cause I’m gonna h-hit you even…harder,” she said tiredly.
“Uhh! You told her! Damn you! Damn you!” I drank my wine some more, feeling angrier and angrier.
“Told me what?” Said Delaney calmly, drinking her glass of blood some more.
I turned to her, narrowing my eyes. I took another sip of wine. “Oh, nothing. She just told you that me, Jessie, and Dalton were supposed to lure you guys away with Aurora’s necklace…..over to where Theodore would be waiting at the mansion and um….” I felt tired suddenly. I drank some more wine and continued talking. “….um, and kill you guys, yeah.”
“Wait!” Delaney said urgently. “Aurora’s necklace?”
“Oh! I’m outta wine!” Jessie sighed loudly. She gave a sideways look and dropped her empty glass on the floor, breaking it into pieces. Then she took another tall glass of wine. She drank some more.
“What did you say about Aurora’s necklace?” Delaney hissed savagely.
“Ey, don’t talk in my face, girl,” said Jessie. “Me, Nikki, and Dalton were just going to use it to lure you vampires to the mansion where Father Theodore will kill you.” Then she threw her head back and started laughing, drinking some more.
I chuckled and gave her a slight push. “Ohh, you’re stupid.” I drank some more.
Delaney chuckled at both of us. “Well, who has it anyway?”
“Who has the necklace?” I turned to her with drooping eyes, seeing her only in a blur. “I dunno.” I turned to Jessie. “Who has the necklace again?”
Jessie took more sips and replied, “Mel Gibson.”
Then we both cracked up in laughter, stumbling sideways, for we couldn’t walk straight.
Delaney chuckled sarcastically, and smiled. “Well, looks like you both ran outta wine again. Here you go, care for some more? I’m gonna be talking with my friends now.” She handed us two glasses of wine.
“What? Oh, thanks,” Jessie snatched a glass.
“See ya,” Delaney gave us a thankful, clever look, and walked away.
I giggled. “Hey, Jessie!”
She looked over to me from drinking her wine, and I threw my glass at her face, spilling it all over her purple hair, and she froze, mouth open, and pushed a strand of hair away from her eye.
I threw myself back against the counter, laughing loud, and yelling out something I couldn’t understand.
“Oh, you are sooo dead!” Jessie said in a drunken voice, and she slowly stepped over to me, and I slowly stumbled clumsily to the side, and Jessie continued forward, even though I wasn’t there.
She whipped around. “Dude! Everything’s so blurry! What the hell, man! My eyes won’t stay open, but I ain’t tired!”
“I know! I need more wine!” I ran to the rows of wine and took a glass and drank more.
Then Jessie pushed me forward, and fell over all the rows of wine, spilling them and splashing my face all over. I cussed and fell to the ground, laughing out loud with Jessie, who banged her side against the table.
Suddenly, Lynn and Dalton appeared in the kitchen, and Lynn looked over to us.
“Omigosh, there you guys are!” She ran over and helped me up. “Quick! Lewis is gone and Jenny almost died!”
I rubbed my eyes, still laughing a little and faced her with droopy eyes. “Really? What happened to her?”
I yelled as Jessie banged my head with her fist. “You fag!” She yelled. “Remember she was makin’ out with Lewis? Uhhh….”
I blinked heavily. “Oh yeah! And she almost died? Wow, she must’ve really had fun! I bet Lewis is like a tiger at sex! Rarrr! I’d like to do him too!”
Jessie let out a cry, spinning around clumsily, banging against the counter multiple times.
Dalton winced and started laughing. “Oh, great! I really wish I had my phone right now.”
Lynn was shaking her head in disbelief. “No! I mean, literally! Jenny almost died! Lewis tried to kill her! He knocked her unconscious and tried to suck her blood, before I came over and interrupted, and he just disappeared out the bathroom window!”
“Oh, really? He knocked her unconscious and tried sucking her blood?” I croaked. I walked up to Dalton, who looked at me with eyes wide with humor, slightly smiling. “You mean like this?” I leaped onto Dalton, and fell to the floor with him, trying to make out and kiss him, but for some reason, he was trying to avoid my kiss, whipping his head the other way.
“Nikki! No! Stop, stop, stop! Seriously, no!” He tried pushing me off, but I clung hard on top of him, trying to kiss at him. If I weren’t drunk, I would’ve known why, of course, why he was trying to avoid me.
“Nikki, NO! STOP!” Lynn screamed.
And suddenly, Dalton zoomed off from my grip and he was at the other end of the kitchen.
I groaned and struggled to get up. “Uhh! Hey!” I screamed. Then started laughing moronically. “Tryin’ to get away from me? Well, I’ll show you! Get you ass over here and let me…uhhh!” I stumbled as he ran passed me to the row of wine glasses.
He laughed. “You really will be wasting your time, you’ll just forget about it when you’re not drunk anymore!” He took a glass of wine, but Jessie bumped into him and made him spill.
He yelled a cuss word and glared at her.
“Hey, Dalton!” Jessie yelled angrily. “You just snapped me out of my thoughts of dancing with Lewwiissssss…” She sighed and fell in his arms.
Dalton rolled his eyes and smirked as he dropped her to the floor.
Lynn rolled her eyes and grabbed my arm. “Come on! We’ve got to lure those vampires out of here! I’ve got my necklace and Lewis had seen it before he escaped. I’m sure he’ll tell Leonardo and his friends about it, so come on!”
Jessie followed after us, whining. “Noooo, I don’t wanna kill Lewis! I still love him! Uhhhhh!”
“Hey, once he’s dead you can do whatever you want with him!” Snickered Dalton.
Lynn whipped around to him as she led us out the door passed all the people. “Oh, sick, Dalton!” She yelled.
“Yeah, Dalton! That’s just wrong! Sick, you!” I added in a tired, sarcastic tone.
Dalton just started laughing.
As we passed all the people, Jessie and I yelled dirty comments to them, waving by and laughing moronically.
“Bye, ya’ll! Love ya! Come by my house tonight, I don’t know where it is at the moment, but look for me!” I yelled.
Some people looked at us and winced, some laughed and talked about us.
We got to the side of the street, walking down a few yards away from the house, laughing our heads off, and Dalton joined in with us too.
I hit him on the back. “Hey, why didn’t you want some fun back there? Scared of me? No need to be scared of me when it comes to something like that!”
“Yeah!” Jessie added. “And was that wine you were about to drink before you hit my butt?”
“I didn’t hit your butt, your butt hit me,” said Dalton, giving her a kick on the butt and running to the side, snickering.
“Ahh! Why, you-” She dashed after him on the middle of the street, but Dalton suddenly went into a blur, running all around her in circles.
“Haha!” He yelled teasingly.
I laughed and walked over to them. “Yeah, get him, Jessie! just run into the blur!”
“You guys!” Hissed Lynn savagely. Dalton stopped running and laughed before standing still.
Lynn pointed down behind us. “Look! Someone’s coming!”
We turned and saw a tall figure slowly heading towards us.
“Wha-?” I narrowed my eyes. “That Lewis?”
“No, idiot!” Lynn hissed. “Look at the hair! Is it sticking out everywhere?”
“It’s Jessica,” said Dalton quickly.
“Jessica?” I raised my droopy eyebrows.
“I can smell her blood.”
“Oh, great,” Jessie spat. “What does she want? Does she want to make out with someone? I think she probably thinks we’re street guys. Hey! Jessica! It’s us-”
“Shhhhh!” Lynn glared at her. “She smells the necklace’s blood.” Lynn opened her left hand and the gem was closed, and she reopened it again for a few seconds, and then closed it. “But why is she all by herself? Where are all the other vampires?”
I sighed, giving a sideways look, and poked Jessie’s shoulder. “I told you to keep them together, Jess.” I said tiredly.
“Hey, I really had to get something to drink after talking so much with all of them!”
“Oh well!” Whispered Lynn. “I’m sure the others will catch up. Lewis and Leonardo are already out there, and Delaney was telling her friends about what you spilled to her. Quick! Do what you’re supposed to do!” She gave the necklace to Jessie.
“Huh? Oh right, I’m supposed to get on you now,” Jessie said tiredly, facing Dalton.
He rolled his eyes. “Oh, great. Get on.”
Jessie lethargically hopped on Dalton’s back, making him stumble and she nearly fell over. The both of them started laughing.
“What’s the matter, Dalton? Thought you were strong enough to pick up a building!” I yelled.
“Hurry up!” Lynn screamed.
Dalton took Jessie’s hand and lifted her to his back, and zoomed down the road.
Instantly, Jessica sped after them, but I felt my hand being grabbed.
I screamed and realized she was carrying me with her. I heard Lynn’s yell in the distance.
Dalton skidded to a stop. “Nikki!” He back towards Jessica, colliding with her and I fell to the ground, and closed my eyes.

I woke up, blinking heavily, and heard footsteps walking around me. I was on my side on a hard ground, and as I rose, I groaned.
“Uhh, my head. What happened?” I barely remembered anything, but following Delaney to the kitchen and drinking blood…and then wine.
I screamed as I realized where I was at. “What the hell am I doing at the movie theaters?!”
“Hey, relax, we’re trying to hide from Lewis and everyone else out there,” came Dalton’s voice.
I looked behind and saw Dalton and Jessie walk out from the doors to the movies. I was sitting in front of one of them. I rose up and came over to them.
“Man, those douches don’t know understand the fairness of giving our money back if we didn’t even get to see the damn movie!” Jessie was complaining.
“Hey, wait, what happened? I barely remember anything.”
Jessie gave me an annoyed look. “I don’t know either! But Dalton says we were watching a movie, but didn’t finish it, so we tried getting our money back.”
Dalton snickered. “You guys were drunk. I bet Delaney was talking to you? You spilled our plan to her when you got drunk, and told her everything. Now, they all decided to split up so we wouldn’t kill them all at once. They’re still after the necklace, and they are trying to find us without having us kill them, so they’ve split up. Luckily, I took you guys all the way across the freeway to hide in here until you recovered from your drunken state. We were trying to see a horror movie, but you guys were too noisy and messing with a group of seniors behind you, and were disrupting the movie that we got kicked out the first ten minutes we got there.”
I laughed. “Just us? Come on, I bet you were being disruptive as well.”
“Ugh! I really wanted to see that movie!” Jessie spit to her side. “So what do we do now?”
“Well, thanks to you guys getting drunk, they know our plan, so now they’ve split up so we can’t lure them all at once, and they’re trying to find us and the necklace. Then they’ll obviously kill us after that.” Dalton raised his eyebrows and gave a sideways look. “Nice job, you two.”
“Hey, I bet Delaney planned on getting us drunk!” Jessie snapped. “Because when I was talking to them, she was staring at me like she suspected me of something.”
“Hey, wasn’t Lynn supposed to be with us? I think I remember her with us…and then someone came after us.” I winced, trying to remember.
“Yeah, Jessica scented the necklace. But I escaped with both of you and lost her. Lynn’s still back there, I guess, but I bet she’ll meet up with Ms. Fletcher and Father Theodore’s friend.” Said Dalton.
“Okay, I can call her and tell her to….be at my neighborhood with Ms. Fletcher, and then we can go out looking for any vampire out there, and then lure them to where they are at my neighborhood, one by one. It’s not that hard, we just have to change our course now, and plan to kill them somewhere else they wouldn’t expect it. And not to mention we have to go out and look for them one by one.”
“Oh, that’s just gonna be tiring!” Jessie complained. We were starting to walk away from the theaters to the fountain in front of the place.
“It’s still worth a try,” muttered Dalton. “So are you ready to look for anyone now?”
“Hey! Wait!” I took out my vibrating phone. “I just got a text message from Lynn.” I sat down on a bench and texted back.
Nikki where r u? I’m waitin with ms. F
At the movies we r cumin back now

Dalton and Jessie slowly walked on, chatting and laughing.
“So there was this one guy, he came up to Nikki, he’s like, ‘hey, baby, you single?’ And she’s like, ‘what? Naw, I’ve got a boyfriend, he’s got black long hair and vampire teeth,’” Dalton laughed.
Jessie snickered. “I would’ve expected her to say yes! What was I doing?”
“You were play fighting with these blondes, throwing popcorn and pushing at each other and giggling a lot. You know, even though you’ve got that purple hair, I think you’re a blonde at heart.”
Jessie grimaced. “Shut up! I’m a redhead, you know that!”
“Anyway, there was this one black guy, he and I were teasing this really hotheaded black girl, and she called me and him gay man whores in bed, so the black guy spit in her hair like this,” Dalton spit sideways, to the right, hitting Jessie’s hair.
Jessie flinched and stopped walking. She had her mouth open in surprise.
“You!” She yelled through clenched teeth. She turned her furious gaze to Dalton, and smacked his face so hard that he swung his head the other way, bending to the left side with his hand on his cheek.
The smack was so loud I heard it from a few yards away, and I looked up in surprise from my phone over to Dalton and Jessie.
Dalton slowly bent up, his hand on his cheek where Jessie had smacked him, and his eyes were wide with anger. He stood there for a second, and then instantly, he lunged at Jessie, banging her all the way against the wall near the bathrooms. I saw him bite into her neck.
I shot up and ran over. “Noooo! Dalton!” I screamed.
Dalton pushed her onto the floor, looking down at her with evil in his face, his face turning red with anger.
“Dalton!” I yelled in horror as I got up to him.
He whipped around to face me, looking me in the eye with a wide-eyed, evil expression. His lips were dripping with blood. For once, I was scared of his expression.
“Stay….away from me, Nikki,” he hissed savagely. And he sped off, away from the movie theaters like a blur.
I didn’t look after him; I was still staring straight ahead, where he had just been standing, wide-eyed myself with horror. I shifted my eyes to my right and looked down at Jessie. She was on her side, and her neck was bleeding terribly.
I closed my eyes and looked away, and before I could cry a river of tears, I felt wind rush from behind me, and I looked behind and saw a shadow approaching me. I recognized who it was quickly, with the pointy hair on the corners, that it was Lewis. I didn’t budge. I didn’t care what would happen to me now. Dalton wasn’t here for me, he killed Jessie, and he just left both of us by ourselves. He mustn’t care for what would happen. I looked away and bit my tongue.
“He killed her, didn’t he?” Lewis’s voice muttered.
I blinked heavily. I said nothing. I felt betrayed, and lonely.
“And he left you both here? Someone’s going to find her body, and someone can find you,” he said, coming over to my side.
I looked at him and frowned. I whipped away. “Just go away, don’t waste that crap before you kill me. Go ahead and bite me if you want.”
Lewis chuckled. “I’d be happy to, but I can’t just yet. You see, Shawn and Justin both found Dalton and caught him. And I’ll need you to come along as well since you’re still alive. But we’re bringing Jessie anyway, we don’t just want to leave her here, do we?”
“What, where are we going?” I said sourly. “Just kill me here, there’s nothing I care about to live for.”
I felt something cold on my shoulder, and saw that he had put his hand on my shoulder, and I felt his coldness through his glove. “That’s what I like about you, Nikki. I was always fond of you in a way, I liked your personality. It wasn’t the best, wasn’t an enjoyable personality, but I admired it. You voice out your feelings out loud and perform however you want, and that’s just like me, except I don’t voice them out. I stay quiet and sneak them around people.”
“You going to bite me or not?” I rolled my eyes, tired of waiting for nothing.
“I will, don’t worry. Just do what I tell you to, okay?”
I faced him, looking into his narrowed eyes. He looked beautiful in the moonlight. His hair shined brightly and the purple shades had a nice touch with the brightness. “What?” I said tiredly.
“Sleep. Lay against the wall and sleep,” he said deeply.
I winced. But I didn’t bother asking any questions. I didn’t care what happened to me right now. I sat against the wall and closed my eyes, but I didn’t entirely fall asleep.
But then I felt myself being lifted, and I felt coldness on my back. Lewis was carrying me like a baby. I felt my heart beat endlessly, and I felt like I would really faint in his arms. I didn’t breathe, and I kept my eyes closed. Suddenly, he ran at supersonic speed, carrying me, and I felt dreamy and entranced to be in his arms, and then I fell into unconsciousness.

I woke up, looking up at the moon, feeling myself in motion, and still felt cold hands carrying me like a baby. I blinked, wincing, and looked over.
“Just where exactly are you taking me, Lewis? And how long-” I suddenly gasped as I realized Lewis wasn’t carrying me anymore. It was Dalton. “Dalton?!”
“Shh! Ms. Fletcher’s car is right there, let’s go! Can you walk?” He was whispering.
“Of course! I’m not hurt or anything!” I jumped out of his arms before he let me down. I stared at him, and he stared back at me for a moment.
“Why did you kill Jessie?” I said quietly, narrowing my eyes.
“Why did you trust Lewis and let him carry you?” He sounded annoyed. “Seriously! He was planning on using your body for a vampire ritual! You had no idea of that, don’t you?”
I winced. “A ritual?”
“Yes! It’s a full moon tonight, and there’s a certain ritual Lewis told me about, when vampires sacrifice a human body, biting it on the neck, the hand, and the ankle, so the blood can be summoned out, and then a vampire must bleed on the same spots, and then mix both their blood together. Then they must hold the mixed blood up at the moon, and chant some spell in weird language, then drink it, and they will have blood like Aurora’s, and not even the sun or cross can kill them. The blood that they drank becomes powerful in them after the chant and the full moon, that they are granted with power to live over their weakness.”
“Wrong, wrong, wrong!” A naughty voice came from behind.
Dalton and I turned, and faced the twins, Shawn and Justin. They were looking at us with naughty smiles.
“Freak, you think we didn’t know you were getting away?” Shawn chuckled.
“Wait a second!” I yelled. “Where the hell’s Lynn and Ms. Fletcher?”
“You wanna know?” Justin smirked. Immediately, he punched Dalton in the face, knocking him to his side.
I screamed and cussed at them, but Shawn immediately rushed up to me, hugging me from behind, his arm over my mouth tightly, and he rushed away, Justin right behind him.
Within about fifteen seconds, we were in front of the haunted mansion at by Full Moon Street.
I stared in horror at the place. “Ahh! No! What the hell! Get me away from here!” I struggled and stomped my heel hard on his foot, and since I had done it lots of times, I really made it hurt this time.
I yelled loudly in horror and choked me. “I’d love to bite you right now, Lewis doesn’t need your blood, and he can always go out for one of the other humans we have.” He muttered viciously in my ear.
I winced. “What other humans?”
But he ignored me and kicked the front door open, and entered the mansion. Justin entered behind, pushing Dalton forward.
“Nikki! He’s got other humans with him since he wants to grant Delaney and Jessica powerful immortality!” Dalton yelled.
I winced. “Oh great! Those fags also?”
We walked up the stairs and got up to a large room right next to the library at the end.
As we entered the room, it was lit up, and there was a giant chandelier at the top of the high ceiling, and the room looked so fancy and exotic, it was impossible to think it was part of the rest of the old house.
“Ah, I was expecting you,” came Lewis’s voice.“Thanks for finding them, Shawn, Justin. I wasn’t expecting the little traitor to come back and take his delirious girlfriend back from my arms.”
Behind me, Dalton hissed quietly.
I looked ahead and saw Lewis at the end of the room, in front of a large window where the full moon was shining. He was wearing a long purple cape behind him, and I had to admit in my mind he looked totally hot right now. But I widened my eyes in horror as I caught Lynn against the wall to Lewis’s right, her arms and legs spread out, chained to the wall. To Lewis’s left, Ms. Fletcher looked the same.
But I was more surprised to see that there weren’t just other normal people chained to the wall as well, but they were…..
“Ashton?! Analiese?! Jeremy?! What, no! You can’t kill them! They knew nothing about this!” I screamed roughly.
“Oh, but now they do,” Lewis smiled slyly. Even through all the anger and frustration with him, I still blinked at his beautiful, wicked, sexy smile. “But we won’t have to worry ‘bout them ratting on us, they’ll be dead soon tonight.”
“Hey, wait a minute,” Shawn said in confusion, coming close to join Lewis’s friends standing around in front of him. “I didn’t know Jeremy was here, before we left, you only had Ashton and Analiese.”
“Well, I really wanted to be granted as well, so we got an extra human,” Louise said sassily.
“And he happened to be following me around, so I lead him here,” Delaney shrugged, giving us a sly look through her piercing blue eyes.
Jeremy groaned. “I didn’t even suspect you for running so fast with me, I was having too much fun.”
“Nikki! They caught me waiting here for my father’s friend. Shawn and Justin caught me, and they already had Lynn,” Ms. Fletcher called.
“Who knew they were freakin’ vampires?” Analiese whimpered, looking at Ashton with horror. “There’s no such thing as vampires!”
“Oh, come off it, little girl!” Louise said rudely. “You think you’re such an adult and so grown up, but you’re just an easily annoyed little kid afraid of fairy tales,” she hissed and spit towards her direction.
“Alright,” Lewis was staring towards me with a crooked smile, his eyes deep and unblinking. He never looked so thirsting for me. “Let’s get on with it. I get Nikki’s blood, Leonardo gets Fletcher’s, Louise gets Analiese, Jessica gets Ashton, and Delaney gets Jeremy’s.”
“Could I be kissed so I can bleed?” Jeremy asked.
Instantly, I grunted as Shawn pushed me to the floor hard, and I looked up Lewis, who looked down with a look of evilness on his face.
He blinked slowly, and looked to his right. “Leonardo? The rose.”
I sat up, clenching my teeth in horror, and looked to the left where a tall vampire with black clothes all over, and a long black cape behind. I recognized his long black hair, resembling Gabriel’s. He had his face looking down, so I could only see his mouth, but as he got up to Lewis, I saw his face, and recognized it from the picture on the wall, except I flinched and winced as I saw that the left side of his face had a single cut, going from over his eye, and down to the side of his chin. He had a pretty handsome look to his face, despite the red scar lining down vertically on the left side of his face.
He shifted his eyes to give me a narrowed glance, and handed a red rose to Lewis. And this rose was blood red, so bright and beautiful, though its beauty scared me, and I felt a sense of dread and horror as I saw it.
“Ugh, that rose is creeping me out,” I said aloud. “What’s wrong with it?”
Lewis took the rose and smiled at me. Leonardo stood to his left, with a more serious, creepy stare. “Well,” began Lewis, smiling crookedly at me, “this is part of the ritual of being granted. This is called a Twilight Rose, a rose that only grows during twilight. It has a special power to it, to combine the human and vampire blood, so that they’re not just human and vampire blood just mixed together, but combined so that they have the power from the rose to keep one alive through vampire weakness, just like Aurora’s blood.” He took out Aurora’s necklace from his pocket, and swung in around his finger.
I blinked. “Wait! How did you get that? What did you do with Jessie’s body? Put it in a coffin with the others?”
Leonardo finally spoke. “Ha! Jessie didn’t have the necklace! The blabbering hussy dropped it when she was drunk, right when Dalton sped off with her away from Jessica. Lynn had it, so I took it from her.” He licked his teeth humorously, giving me a glaring smile.
I glared back. “I guess it’s no use anyway, since you know the ritual to perform and make the same kind of blood.”
“Oh, but there’s only one thing different about Aurora’s blood,” said Lewis. “She had the power to bring a dead vampire back to life, and turn one back to human. This blood couldn’t do that, so we’re still keepin’ this valuable accessory.”
Leonardo chuckled. “And why didn’t Aurora resist the sunlight that killed her when she had that type of blood? She didn’t always have blood like that. Only when she was killed, turned into ashes, that her blood entered the necklace and became that way.”
Ashton huffed. “So I guess she couldn’t pass it on to Delaney’s blood when she was alive.”
Delaney just hissed at him.
I breathed. “Wait! Are we going to die after you take some of our blood?”
Lewis gave me a cold look. “Well, of course we are.”
Leonardo cracked a smile. “You guys know what we’re up to, and what we are, we can’t have you spoiling our little secret we’ve kept…….for a hundred and fifty years!”
“No! No way! You can’t!” Yelled Dalton angrily, struggling from Justin’s grip.
“And you!” Leonardo yelled, pointing his finger at him. He wore no gloves, and he had a long finger, with a sharp, pointy end. “We’re not letting you live either, after what you’ve done!” He hissed wickedly, “You’re not one of us.” He took a book from the table next to him and threw it at Dalton’s head.
“Once we’re done with the humans,” said Lewis sternly, “we’ll take care of you.”
“Are you turning him back to human?” I narrowed his eyes.
“Oh, yeah, we’ll turn him back to human,” Louise said sarcastically. “And then we’ll kill him physically! He’ll be much easier to kill when he’s human!”
“I’d love to suck his blood once he’s human,” said Jessica, giving him a thirsty stare.
Dalton rolled his eyes and spat a dirty comment at Jessica, and Jessica rose up from her chair, hissing and showing her teeth at Dalton.
“Enough!” Lewis said firmly. He turned to me, his expression still cold, and then he gave a calm, crooked smile. “You understand this now. Let’s get on with it.”
He took out a pocket knife, and suddenly, thunder clapped and it was raining outside. The lights went off in the room, and some of us gasped, except for the vampires, and behind where we all gathered, the room was pitch black, and only the place where we gathered in front of the huge window shone brightly from the full moon shining at us.
“Nikki, no!” Dalton yelled from behind I heard a thud and Dalton cussed, and Justin must’ve struck him.
I stared in horror as Lewis neared me, tightly holding the knife, as lightning flashed and lit up his face in scary flashes.
“And please don’t try to fight back,” he said calmly. “I’m only going to chase after you and you know I’m a lot stronger than usual vampires.”
He instantly collided with me, pinning me to the ground, and grabbed my left hand, the one that had no bandage. I held my breath as he slashed a cut across it, with a small vase underneath where the blood could drip into, and it wasn’t until after he had done it that I started screaming and struggling. I only groaned when he did my other ankle, the one that wasn’t sore and recovering, and then cried out a rough yell as he slid the knife across my throat.
Thunder clapped and Lewis chuckled evilly. “I’m sorry, but I must save the bloodsucking for later.” He rose, facing the rainy window, and cut himself across the throat, the hand, and the ankle, making no noise or looks of pain as he turned with the vase of mixed blood. The humans were watching in disbelief and fear, and the vampires had evil, excited looks on their faces as they watched, intrigued.
Lewis took the Twilight Rose from the front table, and faced the window. He held up the vase in one hand, and the rose in the other, and started chanting a spell in a strange, chilling language. He spoke with dread, such dread that made me shiver, and feel the blood dry up over my wounds. And every time he got further into the chant, the storm got worse and worse, until suddenly, lightning flashed at the metal line in between the window. Everyone gasped, but Lewis continued chanting, until the wind looked like it was going to crash the large windows open.
Then, when the horrible chant was finally over, he slowly put the rose into the vase, and turned to me. I saw that the stem of the rose had even darker red flourish around it, until it filled up the entire vase, and the stem suddenly turned a bright silver, and the red petals of the rose, I noticed, started to have blood dripping out from the middle.
“Drink it, Lewis,” Jessica was suddenly at his right side, giving him an evil smile. “Drink it, and when we both have the power to avoid our weaknesses, we’ll be unstoppable……together.”
Of course, I knew, Lewis loved Jessica, though she never wanted to love him back. But hearing that from her, Lewis turned away to look at me again, and cracked a wicked, crooked smile.
“Of course, my dear, of course,” he flashed Jessica an evil smile back, and slowly brought the vase to him.
“Noooo!” Yelled Dalton. Immediately, he elbowed Justin in the stomach and ran like a blur behind Lewis, and then leaped at his side, pushing Jessica away, and the two of them rolled head over heels to the left, and everyone gasped as the vase fell to the floor.
Leonardo dashed forward and suddenly caught it, but I shot up and whacked it out of his arms with a glare, and knocked it to the floor, the vase in pieces, and the mixed blood spilled around it with the Twilight Rose in the middle. I raised my eyebrows as I saw the rose start to shake, and change color again, from silver to a bloody red, and as it transformed colors, steam started to rise from the petals.
I met Leonardo’s gaze with horror, and he was clenching his sharp teeth, narrowing his eyes at me with a look of fury. I ducked, expecting a blow from him, and I was lucky, for his arm flashed over my head like a blur I almost couldn’t see.
I tried to turn and flee as quickly as I can, but suddenly, he gripped my arm so tightly, it felt like it was going to fall off, and then he yanked me back, hitting me against the cold, huge window, and hissed, flashing his sharp teeth at me. I screamed; I really didn’t want him biting me again.
“Think you’ve escaped my last bite?!” He yelled. “Think again! You’re not going to have time to throw it all up this time!” He leaped at me, pressing himself at me, at I felt his cold teeth touch my neck…before suddenly he was pulled off me.
I fell to the bottom of the window as I saw that Ashton had pulled him off by the cape.
“Wow, dang, Ashton, didn’t know you were that strong!” I raised my voice over the thundering boom behind me.
I saw that the vampires were running everywhere, after Analiese, Lynn, and Jeremy, and Ms Fletcher, and to the right, Lewis and Dalton were thrashing and tussling, snapping teeth at each other like cats, and leaping up and crashing back down on each other. Dalton really looked like he was trying hard as he tried avoiding all of Lewis’s strikes, though he got hurt by them more than he escaped them. Lewis slashed across his face with his sharp gloves, and Dalton’s cheek started bleeding with four vertical lines slashed down. He immediately turned and slashed at Lewis’s face, but Lewis dashed back, and Dalton only managed to yank at the pointy hair sticking out at the right corner.
Lewis chuckled. “Stop fighting like a girl, Dalton! Like a human!” Lewis leaped at him like a blur, his teeth flashing, and he tried to bite at Dalton as he landed on him, pinning him to the ground, but at the same time, Dalton pushed his head up, his teeth flashing, and striking at Lewis’s face like a blur. Lewis yelled, putting a hand over his eye, and Dalton dashed from under his grip. He backed away from Lewis, wide-eyed.
“Dalton! Behind you!” Screamed Ms. Fletcher, under Delaney’s grip.
Dalton whipped around as soon as Jessica crashed into him and collided him against the wall, clenching her teeth with a look of fury. Lewis rose from behind her, and Leonardo came behind Lewis. The twins, Louise, and Delaney came over at the right side, glaring at Dalton.
“Weak, little vampire,” hissed Jessica. “You will never be one of us. You will never live up to what you are.”
“I’ll take it from here, Jessica,” Lewis put a hand on her shoulder, his left eye bleeding with a small slash across. His teeth were red and dripping as well.
As soon as Jessica loosened her grip, Dalton pushed her down to the floor and she screamed in surprise. He took a sword that was hung on the wall above his left, and shot it at Lewis.
Lewis ducked in surprise, and behind him, the sword flew at Leonardo, but he kept his narrowed glare and raised his left hand, and the sword stabbed him in the hand. He clenched his teeth and glared even more, then banged the sword to the floor from his hand, breaking it in large pieces. The middle of his left hand was drenched in blood, rapidly dripping to the floor.
“Ugh!” I groaned in disgust and I heard Analiese mutter something disgustedly.
Leonardo still kept his glare, and Jessica slowly got up.
Dalton gasped and dashed passed them all, though Lewis managed to grab at his hood of his new sweater, and ripped it off as he escaped.
“Quick! Nikki! Grab onto me!” He yelled.
I shot up from the window and leaped onto his shoulders, and Dalton took hold of Lynn’s hand. “Hurry! Hold on to each other tightly!” And he crashed out the large window with me on his shoulders, and Lynn, Ashton, Analiese, Jeremy, and Ms. Fletcher holding his right hand, and each others’, clinging onto a line, and we fell into the same tree as last time.
“Crap! I’ll never find another girl like Delaney now!” Complained Jeremy.
Analiese gave his head a push. “You’re so crazy! She had you pinned to the wall and was going to kill you!”
“How do you know? Maybe she was going to turn me into a vampire!” He shot back.
Lightning flashed and thunder roared louder than ever and some of us screamed.
“What do we do?!” I said to Dalton. “You’ll never escape them. We have to hide!”
“They don’t seem to be coming out after us yet,” said Ashton.

Dalton was narrowing his eyes at the window up at the high top of the mansion we had just crashed out of.
“They’re plotting,” he muttered.
Ms. Fletcher whipped her head to the right. “My car’s right there. I know we still can’t get away from them with a car, but we can drive and hide in the middle of other cars.”
“That’s no use!” Cried Analiese. “If we’re going to hide somewhere, we might as well run since Dalton’s faster than the car anyway!”
Suddenly, a blur shot up from the top of the mansion’s roof, and flew down, towards the car, crashing through the windows and tumbling down the street. It was Lewis, and he leaped up and picked up the entire car, and threw it across the ground, breaking it into large pieces.
“Well, that’s no use now,” said Jeremy. “Does he know we’re right here?”
Suddenly, a van appeared from the right of the street, speeding to a stop. The driver’s window rolled down and a man with white hair and blue eyes like Ms. Fletcher’s stuck his head out.
“Christina! Get in the car! All of you!” He yelled, his head already soaked by the rain.
“Father Theodore?” She cried in disbelief. “What are you-”
“Hurry! Just get in the car!”
There was no time to explain, so he all jumped from the tree and hurried in the car.
I was staring in horror, looking for Lewis through the storm. He had disappeared from Ms. Fletcher’s destroyed car and on the road.
Dalton gave me a slight push. “Hurry, go,” he said urgently.
I whipped to the car and jumped down, and went in the back. Dalton was just about to jump off, but suddenly, an arm crashed through the branches of the trees, and the hand immediately wrapped around Dalton’s neck, the sharp fingers sinking in, making him start to bleed.
“Dalton!” I yelled.
“Hurry! Go! Go!” He yelled, trying to pull the hand off his neck. The hand pulled him back and he fell off the tree, and was in a tussle with Lewis again, Lewis moving like a cat fighter, slashing at Dalton, ripping through his sweater, and thrashing and rolling down to the road in front of us.
“He’s killing him!” Analiese cried, covering her mouth.
“He can’t be killed, no matter how wounded he gets,” said Ashton.
Ms. Fletcher was sitting in the front seat next to her father.
“What should we do? We should try helping him!” She said urgently.
“We can’t fight a vampire physically,” said Theodore. “We should save ourselves. Dalton won’t be killed by Lewis’s strikes, no matter how strong he is. He’s immortal, so he’ll find way to escape alive. A vampire can’t be killed physically.”
“But Lewis has Aurora’s necklace!” I cried. “He doesn’t have to kill him physically! He can just turn him back to human and then kill him!”
Theodore whipped around to face me. “Lewis got Aurora’s necklace?!” He said in disbelief.
“And the Twilight Rose,” added Lynn. “If it can mix its strange powers with blood, who knows what it can do when it mixes with your blood when it’s still inside you.”
“Dad, do you really think Lewis is stupid?” Ms. Fletcher was giving him a sideways look. “He won’t waste his time slashing and biting at Dalton if he knows it won’t kill him. I bet he’s planning on fighting him till he’s weak enough to fight back no more, and then he’ll use the weapons that will kill a vampire.”
“Hey, wait!” Ashton leaned to the front. “Dalton’s running away! And Lewis is after him! We should follow them; Lewis could be chasing him to a place he could get him cornered.”
“Right,” immediately, Father Theodore stepped on the pedal, and the car rushed after them, and caught up to just a few yards away as soon as Lewis caught Dalton and was fighting him again, rolling and thrashing rapidly down the road and leaping after each other.
We chased them all the way to the high streets, a few miles away from our area, where there was a shopping center close by.
Suddenly, Lynn gasped.
“What is it?” I turned to her at the other end of the seat.
She rose up and peered at the rearview mirror, squinting her eyes through the stormy rain. “I think……that’s Lewis’s car! They’re following us!”
Theodore looked at the rearview mirror on the ceiling, and cussed under his breath. “It’s them,” he immediately took another lane and sped away.
Leonardo was driving Lewis’s car with Delaney by his side and everyone else at the back, and he was all the way behind us, far back, but his van was pretty tall, and we could see them catching up after us. Leonardo was speeding faster and faster, cutting in front of all the cars blocking his way, getting many horns honked at him.
He cussed as a huge truck cut in front of him. “Damn these human vehicles,” he growled. He sped to the left, and sped up and bumped to the side of the trailer once, confusing the driver so that it drove a little to the right, and crashed into the car next to it, tipping over and blew into flames as Leonardo had sped farther away.
He chuckled evilly. “Watch where you’re driving, loser.”
“Dammit! We lost them!” Louise screamed, rising from her seat, leaning forward, looking for our car over the car in front of them.
Leonardo raised his eyes and cussed. “Not for long. We’re leading them to the dark alley where Lewis first bit into that little wimp, Dalton. I’m sure they’ll take that turn.”
“Ugh! Can’t we just get out of the car and chase ‘em ourselves?” Louise complained.
“No way!” Said Shawn. “They’ll just hide in the middle of all these cars! And we’re not gonna waste our time destroying the cars in their way just to find them, that’s just a waste of time.”
Leonardo continued to speed up, splashing water from a puddle at the car behind them as he made a turn.
It wasn’t long until we figured out their plan.
“Exactly, they’re trying to lead us away from Lewis and Dalton, get us into a place where they could kill us themselves, and then join Lewis and then kill Dalton,” I said, wincing, looking back as we drove. I turned to Theodore. “We have to find a way to get back where Lewis and Dalton were.”
Next to me, Ashton looked around. “Hey, where are we? Not much cars down this street, and there are shopping centers to our sides. I don’t recognize this place.”
“Well, we’re in the Ontario streets,” said Theodore. “We could either go to the main road, or the street to a neighborhood, or the hidden ranch, where there’s an alley to hide in.”
I suddenly widened my eyes. “No! That’s the same place Dalton and I got into a fight with those gangsters!”
“Yes, it is,” said Ms. Fletcher calmly. “We should take the main road, there are shopping centers and places for them to hide, so we should go there.”
We sped over to the main road, and suddenly, Jeremy peered out the window over Lynn’s lap.
“Please get off of me, perve,” Lynn winced.
“Hey! I see them!” Jeremy shouted. He pointed over to the other side of the shopping center. “I saw a blur! It’s probably them! they headed that way behind the shopping center!”
“I think I know where they’re headed, and I know a short cut there. Let’s hurry,” Theodore turned and sped up, nearly slipping on the wet road.
We arrived at a high school, where people were walking into with students by their sides.
“What the hell would people be doing at a high school on such a rainy night?” I winced.
“Oh, they must be graduating,” said Ms. Fletcher. “I know this high school, they do things differently, and have the graduation ceremony at night.”
“Oh, there!” Analiese pointed to where two figures rolling on the ground with each other to the right side of the building, on a sidewalk.
We drove to their sidewalk, and I jumped out of the car and ran up to them, ignoring Theodore’s warning call from behind.
“Dalton! Hurry! Get in the car- oh,” I backed away and saw that they weren’t Dalton and Lewis, but a couple making out on the other side of the school. They looked up at me and winced.
“Natalie?” The guy narrowed his eyes, trying to look at me, for I stood in the rain, and they lay under a roof.
“Um…..yeah….no! Sorry! I thought you were…um…yeah, sorry!” I turned and immediately ran back to the car, slamming the door behind me. Jeremy was snickering at me.
“It’s not them!” I giggled, then frowned at Analiese teasingly. “Thanks a lot, Analiese, sharp eyes.”
“Hey! I couldn’t see, okay?” Analiese shot back. “The rain is crazy. We don’t even have to hide in the car from the others!”
Suddenly, something crashed on the hood of the car, and we all screamed as we met Lewis’s evil glare at us, as he crouched like an animal on the car’s hood, his mouth dripping with blood and his left eye looking scarier and bloodier in the rain.
Theodore gasped and instantly backed the car away, making Lewis fall off in front of us, splashing into a muddy puddle in the rain. He immediately shot up, glaring at us with a fury, his clothes muddy, along with some blood.
“Omigosh,” muttered Analiese with fear and a hint of a dreamy tone. He looked awesome in the rain as well as scary, for his top long points on the corners of his head were slightly bent down from wetness, and the two points on the bottom corners just hung there rather than stick stiffly out.
I stared in horror at him, though I couldn’t look away either.
Suddenly, he dashed underneath us, and I felt the car being lifted up, quickly without struggle. We all screamed as the car tipped around as Lewis held it up with one hand, and lifted it back, ready to throw it at the wall.
“Lewis!” Came Dalton’s voice through the thunder, and suddenly, he shot at Lewis like a blur, pushing him against the wall, and the car crashed back done to the ground.
“Uh! How high up were we like that? How tall is Lewis?” Jeremy yelled.
I rolled down my window. “Dalton! Hurry and get in the car!” I screamed.
He was pinning Lewis against the wall, trying to bite at his face, but Lewis ducked and dodged, and then kicked him away, splashing him into a puddle. Dalton shot up, looking muddy, and dashed from Lewis’s leap at him. He climbed up a ladder against the wall, to the top of the roof.
Lewis hissed, knocking the ladder off. He jumped up to the roof like a blur, and whacked at Dalton’s face, making him fall over. Lightning flashed and I saw at the top, that Dalton as Dalton fell, he kicked back at Lewis’s legs and shot up rapidly, pushing Lewis down the roof as he fell, making his collision even harder.
But as he pushed him down, the two of them crashed through the roof, and they fell into the multi-purpose room, in the middle of the stage where the principal was announcing the graduates.
Everyone gasped as the two of them continued violently fighting at each other, and Lewis grabbed the bar that held up the ceiling, and whacked it at Dalton. Dalton ducked and took a chair at his side and threw it at Lewis, making it fly at him like a blur. Lewis shot up, dodging it, and grabbed the lights that shone at the stage, and threw it down to Dalton.
Dalton whacked it away, and it flew towards the principal, and the principal immediately ducked and the huge crowd of graduating students ran away as it flew over their heads and crashed through the other side of the wall.
Lewis took another strong bar that held up the ceiling above the stage, and suddenly, the ceiling started to collapse in the back of the stage. The crowd of students all started panicking and running around, and Lewis was just about to dash away, but Dalton immediately collided with him and threw him back, and the ceiling collapsed over him, with raining pouring over it from the opening.
Everyone was screaming in the room, and running around and as we popped in the door, some people crowded around us and ran out the door, screaming.
“Geez, college people are so pushy,” Jeremy rolled his eyes. “They have no idea that they are vampires fighting, not two regular old punks, so there’s nothing for them to be that scared about.”
There were still lots of graduates screaming around, and some graduate hats were on the floor. The principal tried calming everyone down with his voice raised since the microphone didn’t work now.
“People! People! Please, calm down!” He yelled. He turned to Dalton, who was bending over with his hands on his knees, panting, with his hair drenched over the sides of his face, and his clothes muddy and bloody. There was blood dripping from his mouth. “Hey!” The principal snapped at him. “What is the meaning of this?! You two have no right to barge in like that!”
Dalton faced him with a tired glare, licking his bloody teeth.
I rolled my eyes, stomping over. “Hello? Can’t you see he’s hurt? And you’re thinking of punishing him? he’s not even your student, pimp,” I said aloud, though just because I felt like it, not because I wanted to snap at the principal.
“Hey, Dalton!” Analiese called, following me with the others. “Come on, hurry! Get in the car!” Then she turned to the principal. “We’re sorry, it won’t happen again!”
“Won’t happen again?!” The principal yelled. “Well, I’ll make sure it won’t happen again!” He grabbed Dalton’s arm and Dalton cussed in confusion. “I’ll have you confiscated for the rest-”
Suddenly, the debris from the broken ceiling behind them crashed and Lewis was up, looking dusty and bloody with a terrible look of horror. He rushed up to Dalton like a blur, holding a sharp board from the debris.
The principal took no notice of the way he ran. He glared back at Lewis through his glasses.
“You are going to get the worse confiscation! I see much worse wounds on your friend here than you, which means you-”
Immediately, Lewis whacked the principal’s head with the board. The board whacked at him like a blur, and the principal spun around a few times, and fell over, dead. His head was bleeding terribly.
Lewis dropped the board at his side, spitting out blood at the principal. “There,” he said firmly, glaring down at the body. “Now he didn’t have to find out that we were vampires before he died.”
We stared in horror at the dead principal. The room was empty now, everyone had escaped.
Dalton slowly turned his head to meet Lewis’s gaze with a cold, wide-eyed expression full of hatred. I stared at him with wonder, for I admired the way he looked with his hair wet, and his face dirty with a slash on his left cheek. Immediately, Dalton’s hand went like a blur as he was about to punch Lewis in the face, but Lewis was too fast, and he grabbed his fist and stopped him, but then Dalton kicked at his feet, tripping him over, and picked him up, ready to throw him across the room, but Lewis still thrashed roughly from his grip and leaped behind Dalton, yanking his scruff down, and he fell to the floor.
As Lewis leaped down at Dalton, Dalton immediately, shot up with his hands forward, pushing Lewis back harshly, sending him flying back across the room, crashing into the chairs in the back.
Lynn gasped as he shot up. He was looking pissed than ever, and rushed at Dalton, who was licking at the blood on the principal’s head where the blood came out from a deep gash.
Dalton saw him coming, and he took the body and leaped away, to the stairs on the stage over to the upper floor above. He licked at the blood and tried dodging Lewis at the same time.
“It will revive him,” said Theodore. “He needs more strength. He doesn’t have enough, as I smell.”
I winced. “He’s been fighting pretty hard, are you sure?”
Suddenly, Ms. Fletcher gasped. “I think I just saw Lewis’s car pass by!” She was looking at the back door across the room that was wide open.
We turned to see in the distance, and saw the parking lot, and a fast moving car, parking quickly at an open spot, skidding to a stop, turning a little, and crashing the car next to them a little.
I gasped. “That’s their car,” I looked up at Lewis and Dalton. Lewis whacked his arm, and knocked the body from Dalton’s hands, and the body fell to the stage below them. Dalton leaped at him and they continued fighting.
“Crap,” I muttered, turning away from the body in disgust. “They’ll smell the blood. We have to hide.”
“I’ve been to this school before,” said Ms. Fletcher. “I might know a good place to hide.”
We started running to the door ahead of us, and opened it, closing it slowly behind us. We were in the quiet hallways.
“Let’s hide in the pool area!” Said Jeremy. “One of my older brothers goes to this school, and he says the pool area is the only place in the school that has a broken camera.”
Analiese frowned. “No way, there are cameras at this school?”
“Yep,” said Theodore. “And from the looks of it, it looks like there’s one right there.”
He pointed to the left corner where a camera was facing the other direction. We started walking away down the hallways, and Ms. Fletcher led us to the pool area.
I looked at Jeremy. “Jeremy, your brothers are hot, but those vampires will be looking everywhere around here. They’ll break the door open if you lock it.”
“Yeah? Can vampires swim?” He said sassily.
Everyone stopped walking and gave him a look.
“What?” He winced. “I thought they can’t scent us through water. It washes away any smell, doesn’t it?”
“I guess,” Lynn narrowed her eyes and turned to Ms. Fletcher and Theodore. “Does it work on vampires?”

Suddenly, there was a bang ahead of us, and we gasped.
“Someone’s coming from ahead! Let’s go back!” I immediately turned away, and everyone followed.
Suddenly, a door to the right side of the wall budged slightly open, and we stopped, staring in horror.
Ms. Fletcher bent to my ear. “Nikki?” She whispered. “Hide in the door behind us. You’re the only one bleeding. They’ll scent you.”
I blinked and turned around there was a door to a classroom behind us with the lights on, which meant someone must’ve been there. But I quickly went inside.
Ms. Fletcher and everyone else were standing in behind the door in front of them, and as it opened some more, they all squatted down and hid behind the door as it opened, and Shawn stepped out. He had his eyes narrowed, and he looked around, but didn’t look behind the door he held open. No one dared to breathe, and Jeremy raised his hand up against the door, giving off the finger with a naughty smile on his face, moving his hand up and down.
Ms. Fletcher gave him a wince and Analiese grabbed his hand and held it down, biting her lip.
Shawn closed the door behind him, revealing them all, but he was already walking down the hallways, his back turned. Ashton widened his eyes as he saw that in his right hand, he carried the Twilight Rose. Shawn turned to his left and shot another door open, slamming it hard behind him.
Analiese flinched. “Phew, that was close,” she whispered.
Everyone rose up. “Alright, Nikki’s hiding in the other room, let’s go,” said Ms. Fletcher. “We’ll get her, and then go up to the camera room and see if we can find Dalton alone.”
“How are we going to kill the other vampires?” Said Ashton.
Lynn looked around. “Too bad there’s no cross or religious materials in school.”
“Well, once we find Dalton, we can have him rush us to some church, and we can fetch the material, and Dalton can lead them in one pace together, then we’ll kill them all,” said Theodore.
Meanwhile, I was hiding in the room next door, sitting next to a bookcase. I looked around and saw that this must be a language arts class. Yuck, I thought. I’m stuck in a language arts class by myself.
Suddenly, I heard something from the other side of the bookcase, and a blur rushed around the desks.
I held my breath, and covered my sore ankle. I scooted closer against the wall, looking around, and then slowly rose up, looking around for anyone. I stepped in front of the bookcase, and I was just about to creep over to the door. I took one more look behind me…..and screamed in surprise, facing Dalton. He yelled in surprise as well, and it wasn’t until a second that we realized it was each other.
I laughed and pushed him. “Freak, you scared me. You looked like Leonardo with that slash across your face.”
He grimaced. “I look nothing like Leonardo.” He rubbed his hand on his slash, getting some blood on his hands.
I grimaced and slapped his hand off his face. He gave me a smile through narrowed eyes, and licked his fingers slowly and lethargically.
I huffed. “You’re starting to remind me of William now.”
Dalton chuckled. “Hey, I escaped Lewis as soon as I found that Leonardo and his other stupid friends were here. But we need to get up to the camera room. I have an idea, let’s go.”
He took my hand and we rushed at a fast pace- a fast pace for a human- and got out of the classroom from the door on the other side of the room.
“What’s your plan?” I asked as we rushed down the halls.
Dalton was shifting his eyes everywhere, aware of anyone showing up.
“We go to the camera room,” he began, “and we look for each of the vampires, and then one of us leads them all to one place, lock them in there, and then….well, Father Theodore has no religious materials, so we’ll have to rush back and get some.”
“Wait! What about the others? They were hiding from Shawn….somehow,” I said.
Dalton sighed. “If they got caught….we’ll see what happens in the camera room.”
“I don’t think they got caught, I didn’t hear anything,” I said quietly.
We got up some stairs, around some rooms, and finally reached a gray metal door.
“I’ve got the principal’s keys,” Dalton smirked, taking a ring of keys from his pocket.
“Cool,” I raised my eyebrows. “What’s gonna happen when the principal is found dead? Oh, yeah. He was hit on the head. And no one but us was there to see it, so, you’re less likely to get in trouble.”
“Hopefully no one will recognize me from this fight,” said Dalton, unlocking the door to the camera room.
As we entered, there was a screen with different small TVs showing different rooms of the school, all except for the room we were in.
I narrowed my eyes through all of them. “Hey! There’s Ms. Fletcher, Lynn, and everyone else!” I pointed to one of the TVs that showed one of the hallways. Then they disappeared and appeared in another TV, in the gym.
“Where are they going?” Dalton winced. “Are they trying to get up here too?”
“Looks like it. They’re kinda getting closer.”
Then I looked around the cameras. “Huh, that’s weird. All the rooms are empty. There’s no sign of Lewis, Leonardo, or the others anywhere. Did they leave the school?”
“No, they didn’t,” said a humored voice behind me, and before I could turn around, cold hands covered my mouth, and I struggled, kicking back at the legs, making angry noises through the hands. “Hey, stop that! Young lady, you’re in real trouble!”
I winced and didn’t recognize the voice, except that it was a grown man’s voice. I glanced to my left and saw a policeman come to join my side. So a policeman grabbed me, not one of the vampires.
“There’s destruction at the multi-purpose room, and the principal is dead. You guys are the only ones still messing around in here,” the policeman said firmly.
I glanced to my right at Dalton, and saw that he was angrily struggling from a policewoman’s grip.
I whacked the policeman’s hand from my mouth, glaring at him. “We didn’t do anything!” I screamed like a crazy person. “It was-”
“Quiet! Explain it to us when we ask you for it. For now, you’re getting in our car with the rest of your little troublemaker friends that made their way up here.”
I rolled my eyes and realized that Lewis and the other vampires were caught as well, for they must’ve gone up here too.
I heard a click and Dalton muttered a cuss word. I turned and saw that the police lady had chained his hands in handcuffs. “That’s what happens to those who won’t cooperate for something so simple. Now move it,” she pushed him out of the room, and Dalton cussed under his breath with an annoyed look on his face.
“Go,” the policeman gave me a push and I groaned loudly.
“We didn’t do anything, damn you freakin’….” I muttered the rest as I stomped after them. The other policeman followed us out, and we made our way down to the exit of the school, and over to the parking lot.
I looked to my left and saw that Theodore’s car was still there.
“We need to go back, there’s still more people in there,” said the other policeman.
“I know,” the one pushing me replied. “I suppose they’re headed for the camera room as well.”
Suddenly, there was a gasp from the police lady, and then the other two yelled in disbelief. In front of them, their police car was smashed on the ground- upside down. Of course….the vampires.
“What in the world,” the man gasped in disbelief.
Suddenly, Dalton turned to the woman with a cold stare, and yanked his arms away from the lady’s hands, and gave her a rapid kick at the face. She cried in pain and fell to her knees, burying her face in her hands.
Then Dalton ran over to my policeman and spun around, whacking him in the face with his hands in cuffs, knocking the man to the ground. The other guy rushed at him with his gun, but Dalton ran to his back like a blur, and collided his side to his back, knocking him hard to the ground on his face.
I stared in disbelief. “What are you doing?”
Dalton broke out of the chains, easily as if ripping a piece of paper. He met my gaze and took my hand. “Come on! Let’s get out of here while we can!”
Suddenly, a blur appeared in our way as we turned around, and Louise was standing in front of us with a wicked grin. “Sorry, but you’re not going anywhere!” She said sassily.
“Hey! Neither are you, miss curls!” The police that was knocked to his face took out his gun and aimed it out Louise.
Louise turned to him with a sideways look, rolling her eyes. Immediately, she kicked the gun from his hands, and smacked his face with such power, her face like a blur, that he fell to the ground hard again.
She picked up the gun, and shot him in the head.
I flinched and Dalton whipped around, whacking his arm at Justin, who suddenly appeared behind him, and he whacked his face to the ground, splashing in the mud puddle. The rain was lighter now, and I could see the other vampires appearing around us. Jessica, Shawn, Delaney, and Leonardo appeared out of nowhere, all trying to get at Dalton, though this time, since he had sucked the blood from the principal, he had more strength to doge and fight back.
“Hey, freeze!” The other policeman that was still alive aimed his gun at all of us, shouting in confusion. He gasped in horror as he saw Louise sucking the blood from the dead policeman.
Behind him, Leonardo was approaching, and I bit my tongue as he wrapped his white hands around the policeman’s neck and choked him to death, with one hard squeeze and the policeman fell to the ground.
Leonardo looked down at the dead body with a smirk on his face. He looked up to face me, thunder clapping and lightning flashed, lighting up his face, showing the blood red scar vertically down his left eye. He kept his evil smile on his face as he met my squinted expression.
“He just found out we were vampires, what else could we do?” He shrugged.
Behind him, the woman groaned and stood up, holding her left side of the face. But she fell back to her knees, groaning in pain.
Suddenly, Delaney appeared at her side, and helped her up, but when she stood up. Delaney narrowed her eyes and leaped at her, sucking out her blood.
Jessica was holding back Dalton, her arm around his neck, and Dalton whipped around, escaping her grip, but before he could strike, Shawn grabbed him and the both of them tussled.
I was too focused I didn’t see Leonardo slowly approaching me. I gasped as soon as he was right in front of me, looking me in the eye with a squinted smile. He looked creepy as his left eye squinted with the scar cut across it. But I knew Lewis’s cut would look even scarier.
Leonardo chuckled. “You know, you’re still bleeding a little around your neck.” He held up the Twilight Rose. “I can always use this if you really don’t want me to bite you.”
“Not for long,” Dalton’s voice spoke quickly as a blur appeared between us, and suddenly, the rose was gone from Leonardo’s hand.
Leonardo winced and looked to his left where Dalton ran with the rose. Leonardo hissed, flashed me a glare, and sped after Dalton.
I suddenly noticed something, and looked around. Where was Lewis? He was nowhere to be seen. I suddenly heard a crash from back inside the building, and I raised my eyebrows, looked around me, and ran back into the building.
I rushed into the multi-purpose room, and it was dark now. I narrowed my eyes and looked around. It was pitch dark, and I walked in some more. I looked to my right where the stage was, and saw the shadows of the broken ceiling. The rain was pouring a little bit through the opening above. I looked up the stairs that lead to the upper part above the stage, and then continued on.
Then I winced and stopped. I thought I saw a shadow on the stair. I looked at the staircase again, and couldn’t quite see it, but I did catch a shadow. It didn’t move, it was still as a statue. I blinked, for it could’ve been the principal’s body Lewis had knocked out of Dalton’s hands. I was just about to step on, until suddenly, the thunder clapped loudly, and the lightning flashed, and I saw, not a principal’s dead body ahead on the staircase, but Lewis, though as the lightning flashed, it only lit up the bottom of his face, revealing his mouth slightly open with bloody teeth dripping, the top two points of his hair, and the front of his dark purple, dirty bloody coat. The rest were shadowed.
But I gasped as I saw him, and whipped around to run back, but before I took one step, Lewis had already grabbed my short-sleeved sweater, and yanked me back, catching me in his arms.
I winced, but I couldn’t see him through the darkness.
He chuckled. “You think you’ve gotten away? I’ve had troubles in the past, and I’ve always gotten over them easily as counting to ten. There’s no way I’m letting you getting away from me.”
I huffed. “Well, before you kill me, tell me something. What did you do with Jessie’s body? And Jenny’s, for I bet you eventually killed her as well. What did you do with their body’s?”
“You want to know?” He said nicely. “Well,” he sounded evil now, “I never went back for Jenny, but I put Jessie’s body in the basement in her own coffin.”
I blinked heavily. I felt scared, yet, excited that Lewis was holding me from falling back, as if we were dancing. “You didn’t suck her blood?”
“Oh no, a vampire couldn’t suck new blood before mixing its own blood with a human’s for the ritual. It would mess it up. Plus, I wouldn’t want Jessie’s blood anyway.”
I chuckled. “Why not? You don’t like her? I know lots of people really can’t stand her vain, annoying, hotheaded personality, but she’s actually got nice looks for guys.”
“Yeah, I wasn’t bothered by her looks, or even her personality, she just seemed like she used way too much perfume and scents that it made me think her blood would taste too sour.”
Yeah, she did wear strong perfume. Dalton even said it himself, it was probably even too strong for vampires to smell her blood.
“But you,” Lewis lowered his voice to a scary tone. “You have a personality that’s similar to hers. You’re hotheaded, selfish, and would even make bad choices, but you’re less self-centered and less girly than her. You’re violent and mean when you’re angry, and crazy and fun when you’re happy, and that’s what I’ve liked about you. Really, I feel sorry to kill you, unless you truly promise to keep our secret, and I might just turn you into a vampire.”
I was breathless, and didn’t know what to say. I was silent for a second, and then thought up something. “Well, if I keep your secret, will you leave Dalton alone?”
I felt Lewis’s cold hand clench to a fist on my back. “We can’t do that, he’ll tell.”
“If I tell him not to and if I tell Ms. Fletcher and everyone else not to tell, for the sake of Dalton’s life, and you sparing mine, they might listen!”
“I think not,” he said dangerously. “Analiese is too much of a good girl and would do the ‘right thing’ by ratting us out, and Jeremy would just accidently spill it, like he always ends up doing with everything.”
I huffed and looked away, even though I couldn’t even see Lewis’s face through the shadows anyway.
My heart beat in surprise as I felt his cold fingers run across my forehead, slowly pushing away strands of my wet hair. My two high ponytails were sagging down from the rain.
“You looked foxy with your hair down that one time,” he said quietly. “And emo.”
I bit my tongue, not knowing what to say. Was Lewis going to kill me, or not?
“And you’re still bleeding on your neck,” he said. “Don’t worry, I won’t make any of your wounds worse.”
Suddenly, I felt cold lips touch mine, and my blood ran cold with anxiety and surprise as I realized he was kissing me, though I feared I would end up like Danielle, kissed and then dying from it. I wanted to push him away before anything happened, but I was enjoying it at the same time.
Suddenly, a blur flashed passed, pulling Lewis away by the cape away from me, and I fell back in surprise, cussing as I hit my butt hard on the floor.
I winced. There was hissing and thrashing.
“Nikki! Hurry up and escape with Ms. Fletcher! Go!” It was the voice of Theodore, fighting with Lewis.
I got up and heard footsteps running up to me from behind.
“Nikki! Go get in my car right now! Hurry!” Shouted Ms. Fletcher, running with Ashton, Analiese, Jeremy, and Lynn.
I could barely see anyone but shadows in the dark room. I saw that Theodore was still fighting with Lewis, though he was getting pretty beat up. I saw a flash in Lewis’s pocket, and I ran passed him, grabbing the shiny thing, that was Aurora’s necklace.
Lewis didn’t notice I had taken it, and I hurried after Ms. Fletcher and everyone else. I felt cold hands grip my ankle, and I fell down, but still kept the necklace.
“Nikki!” Yelled Ashton. He turned and I saw his shadow dash over to me, and grab my hand, helping me up.
From behind, Lewis tightening his grip and pulled me easily away from Ashton, but Theodore pulled him back, and he let me go. Ashton helped me up.
“You alright?” He asked.
“Yeah,” I clutched the necklace it my hand. It was terribly cold, like it had been in a freezer.
I ran with Ashton, catching up with everyone else outside, and jumped in the car. Theodore caught up with us and got in the driver’s seat, and sped the car around.
“This is no use! He’ll catch up with us!” I said roughly.
But Theodore was already speeding away. And even to his surprise, we were going very fast, and I saw that the speed meter was already up to its highest, which was 140 miles per hour.
“Huh?” I said in confusion.
“Holy crap, we’re speeding like hell!” Jeremy was peeking out the window.
I saw too, that we were speeding like a blur, everything passed by like a blur. I could barely push myself forward, for the car was moving so fast.
I cussed in surprise. “Damn,” I looked at Analiese. “What the hell’s happening?”
“I certainly have no idea!” Said Theodore in confusion.
Ms. Fletcher turned around, narrowing her eyes. “Maybe we’re being pushed by….”
Suddenly, there was a bump at the top, and we returned to a normal speed, still 140 miles per hour, still blurry outside, but less fast than before.
I rolled down my window and peeked out. “Dalton?” I called, looking up.
He looked back down at me from the top of the car with the Twilight Rose in his mouth. He took it in his hand. “You’ve got the necklace?” He noticed I was still holding it in my hand.
“What? Oh yeah! What should we do with this stuff? You’ve got the rose….perhaps you can….somehow stick it in Lewis’s wound.”
I grunted as Jeremy peeked his head out, bumping me over a little. “Hey, what will happen if you do that?” He raised his voice extra louder, for the wind was powerful, blowing across us, along with the rain.
I elbowed him for yelling right at my ear.
Dalton lowered his head to us. “The Twilight Rose has got strange powers, and they are very dangerous with blood. By itself, it has nectar that is dangerously poisonous, and since it blooms on a twilight night, it is even powerful enough to poison a vampire and kill it. I forgot to mention that since Twilight Roses are the rarest things to grow on Earth.”
Analiese looked at him. “How is it planted?”
“That, I have to explain at a better time,” said Dalton indignantly. “It’s a confusing process that will stress you out especially.”
Theodore peeked out of the window. “So are you going to try and get close to Lewis and try to aim that rose at his wound?”
“Yeah, that’s what I was planning. I have to get you guys away first.”
I was staring up at Dalton, admiring the way his wet hair blew in the wind. He looked so brave, unlike the stuck-up coward he was at school. He slowly turned to me, looking me in the eyes with the same look.
Jeremy giggled next to me. “Hey, Ashton,” he muttered something in a laughing tone, and before I could give him a thwack on the head, Dalton cussed.
“They’re coming!” He hissed.
“What?” Lynn gasped.
“I see them! In the distance! They’re catching up,” Dalton turned to me and handed me the rose. “Here, take this for me.”
“What? Why? Don’t you need it?” I said.
“I need Lewis alone first,” he said. He leaped off the car, but as soon as he did, a dark figure crashed him to the back of the car, and they both fell to the road.
“Dalton!” I screamed as we sped away. The other vampires leaped over them and caught up after us, and I saw Lewis, so it must’ve been Leonardo that caught Dalton.
Suddenly, Lewis dashed forward and grabbed the end of our car, pulling it back. We all screamed as the car suddenly skidded to a rough halt, and Justin jumped at the top of our car.
“Nooo!” Dalton’s yell sounded from behind, and he was running from Leonardo, and leaped at Lewis, though Lewis flew out of the way, letting our car go, and we sped away before Dalton crashed into it. The other vampires started chasing after us, Lewis in the lead, Dalton behind him, and Leonardo chasing after Dalton, with the others behind them.
Suddenly, Lynn gasped as she looked at the rearview mirror. “Louise!” She screamed. And suddenly, there was a thud on top of the car, and a long arm crashed through the top, sharp gloves reaching down.
We all screamed and backed away from the thrashing arm, feeling around for us, and suddenly, Louise grunted from the top as Dalton leaped on top of her from Lewis’s throw. Louise angrily kicked him off, and he fell to Lewis again, who pushed him on the road and leaped at our car. He punched at my window, and I screamed as the glass flew near me.
Lewis’s hand grabbed my left ponytail, and he pulled me to the window. “Uhh!” I whacked my arms at his arm, scratching my left head. I really hated people touching my hair.
“Where’s the rose, Nikki?!” He yelled. “I know you have it!”
“Give it to us, messy-haired slut!” I heard Louise scream from behind.
Leonardo caught up to our speeding car, and crashed the window on the back seat. He leaped into the car, and we all screamed.
“Get away from us!” I screamed. He fell in the middle, between me, Analiese, and Ashton, and Lynn and Jeremy. Ms. Fletcher whipped around in surprise.
Leonardo glared at me, and as he saw the rose, he whacked a blow at me, but I saw it coming and ducked.
Just then, a hand reached from the hole at the ceiling, and grabbed Leonardo’s cape, pulling him out in a flash, and throwing him at the other vampires at the back, bumping into Louise and the twins, slowing them down.
I gasped and looked from the ceiling. Dalton and Lewis were fighting, dodging and leaping at each other on top of our car.
“Nikki, I think Dalton could use the rose now,” Analiese said.
“Yeah, I don’t see Leonardo or his friends anywhere,” said Ashton, looking back from the broken window.
I huffed. “We really need to get at Leonardo and the others as well!”
I heard a yell and saw that Lewis pinned down Dalton, making a dent in the ceiling beneath. He had his purple-gloved hands wrapped tightly around his neck. “You think you can’t be killed by me right now? I’ll give you pain until I can! Leonardo will be here. Don’t think you’ve gotten rid of him! Nobody gets rid of Leonardo!” Then, he added with a cold, low, dreading voice, “Or me.”
I gasped and heard Dalton choke, struggling to escape. I gasped as I looked down, and saw a small pistol under my seat. I glanced up, and took the gun, and the rose.
I leaped out from the top of the ceiling, carefully rising as I stood in front of them on the top of the car.
Lewis looked up at me with a glare. “Nikki!” He shouted, immediately standing up.
I glared and aimed the gun at him, and shot him in the heart.
He blinked, and looked at his chest, where it was bleeding terribly, a lot more than I thought, dripping a lot more blood as he I had slashed him with a sword. He rubbed his left hand on the blood, and slowly looked up at me with a terrible, yet surprised cold glare.
“That doesn’t exactly kill me like that,” he muttered through clenched teeth.
“I know that,” I said calmly, stepping over Dalton and walking up to him. I looked into his narrowed eyes, looking straight into mine. “Which is why have something else for you that you wanted from me.”
Lewis raised his eyebrows, looking slightly hopeful, but then I slid the Twilight Rose into his chest, right where I shot him.
Lewis kept his eyes on me, blinked heavily, and then collapsed, falling towards me, and I caught him in my arms, finding myself hugging him. I looked on ahead as I did, feeling dizzy, for I had just killed the most dangerous vampire I had known so far, yet the most beautiful one. It could’ve been Dalton, I thought to myself. It could’ve been Dalton behind all this murder, and I could’ve ended up killing him instead.
I breathed, then let Lewis down, laying on the top on his side. Dalton got up slowly, looking down at him with a tired look.
“He’s dead now, isn’t he?” I said quietly.
“Not yet,” said Dalton. “He’s just unconscious. The nectar has to mix in first, and while it does that, he’s in an unconscious state. But don’t worry. The Twilight Rose is so powerful, it works fast. In a matter of minutes, he’ll be gone completely.”
I held my breath. He looked so beautiful, lying there with his long purple coat all wet and bloody, and his long cape spread out a little behind him. I just really wished he was what I thought he was. I couldn’t hold back tears, so I turned away, wincing.
I felt a cold hand on my shoulder, and Dalton was facing me with an understanding expression. I put my arms around him and he put his around me, and I cried my eyes out, silently.

“Stop, STOP!!! Cliff!!!” Screamed Ms. Fletcher.
Theodore suddenly skid the car to a halt before driving off a cliff, about a yard away, so that Dalton and I suddenly slipped off the top from the sudden stop, and fell in front of the car. Lewis fell in front of us as well also.
Everyone got out of the car as we got up.
“Ow, I think I cracked my back,” Dalton complained, getting up.
I was staring at Lewis’s body.
Theodore sighed. “Well done. It had to be done, you know,” he put an arm on my shoulder.
I huffed. I faced Ms. Fletcher, who was giving me a troubled look. “Look, don’t be telling anyone I killed him, okay? Everyone liked him, and now he’s gone.”
Ms. Fletcher raised her eyebrows. “Of course, I totally understand that. We’ll say he killed himself, getting into a fight with those dead police. And that he was behind all the murder.”
“Yeah, along with all his friends as well,” Analiese said worriedly.
“But we have no proof,” Ashton winced. “I mean, we have some wounds, but that doesn’t prove anything that Lewis did it.”
“We could call the police, and they can investigate this stuff-” Theodore began.
“No!” I snapped. “They may find out he was a vampire, and we can’t let that happen.”
“Hey! Let’s say he killed the police, ran away, but then he got shot and fell off the cliff,” suggested Jeremy. “There’s a river down there, so they won’t be looking for his body.”
Analiese winced. “That won’t make sense! We need a policeman who would agree to that.”
“Theodore’s a policeman!” Ms. Fletcher exclaimed.
Dalton whipped his head to face her. “Really?”
“Yes, since he became a vampire, he couldn’t be a priest anymore, so he became a policeman. He wasn’t doing his job for some reason,” Ms. Fletcher winced at Theodore. “Why did you suddenly appear to save us? You should’ve been on your job and your friend was supposed to come with religious materials.”
Theodore chuckled. “Well, he called me and said he broke his back and was stuck at the hospital, so after not getting a call from you, and not having you arrive for a while, I figured something was wrong, for you said the plan would barely take half an hour. But you never showed up or anything, so I came for you. I had a feeling something was wrong.”
“Thanks for saving us,” Analiese said, though she was still looking at the ground, worried.
“Yeah, thanks,” I said dryly. I didn’t feel very good right now.
Theodore patted my back. “That was why I had a gun on the back seat.”
I looked at Dalton. “Should we remove the rose?”
“Yeah,” sighed Dalton. “It’s all mixed in by now.”
“I’ll call the rest of my station and tell them all about it…..tomorrow,” said Theodore. “Right now, we’ve got to put his body somewhere.”
“Huh! You don’t have to throw him down a cliff! He’s too valuable for that!” Said a girly, stuck-up voice I recognized.
We all turned, and gasped as Louise appeared, a savage look on her face, and to her left side, Jessica, to her right, Delaney, and the twins behind them.
Jessica crossed her arms and glared. “So, you killed him already, huh?”
“I guess it was Nikki, wasn’t it?” Said Delaney dangerously, glaring at me through her piercing eyes. I didn’t meet her gaze. I was still staring down at Lewis, looking tired and upset.
“Yeah, it was Nikki,” said Jeremy simply.
“Hey, listen,” said Theodore firmly. “We don’t want any more trouble. Just behave, and we won’t try going after you either. Lewis was like your leader, wasn’t he? Well, he lead you badly, and now he’s paid for it. His time is up. He could never change, I could sense it. It was like his blood had a darkness full of anger and hatred, and he couldn’t escape it.”
I slowly came up and met Jessica’s gaze. “Jessica,” I said tiredly, “I really don’t feel any triumph in defeating him….at all. I’d probably feel much better if he just escaped and never came back, even though I would feel worried all the time.”
Jessica’s glare hardened, but then softened. “So you regret it, huh?” She said foxily.
“In a way,” I said honestly. “But he made a promise to me, that he could spare my life if I kept his secret, so I would’ve agreed…if he agreed to spare Dalton’s life as well.”
Jessica stared back at me for moment, and then looked ahead. “Where is the little twerp anyway?” She looked around.
I whipped around in surprise. Dalton was nowhere to be found. “What?! Dalton!!!”
“Relax, he’ll come back!” Louise said indignantly. “Anyway, we’ll make a deal. You keep our secret, and then we won’t harm anyone, kay?”
Jeremy winced. “What are you guys gonna do? Live off of animal blood?”
Louise huffed. “I guess! But only if you keep your secret!”
Ms. Fletcher chuckled. “Well, Louise, you’ll need to keep your own secret as well. Because of you, I found out you were all truly vampires. I saw you lick your teeth,” she winked.
Louise gave her a sassy look and turned away. “Whatever. I’m exhausted. Keep all your crap, the necklace, the rose, we don’t want it. Just keep our secret and let us live.”
“So you guys don’t care for Lewis?” Ashton asked.
Louise didn’t look back. She was strutting away the way Jessie does when she ignores people.
Louise passed between Shawn and Justin, her head held high.
Justin snickered. “Well, she did. She liked him, obviously. And we were his two best buddies, so yeah, we all would do anything to get him back- except expose our secret.”
After a moment’s silence, Ms. Fletcher sighed. “We should get going. We’re miles away from home, so we should go now. It’s already dawn right now.” She looked at the grayish sky; it wasn’t raining anymore.”
“Right,” Louise was back. “We’ll take Lewis’s body to the mansion, where he can rest with the other bodies.”
“Hey! There any chance you can bring humans back to life?” Said Jeremy. “Since there’s a way to get vampires back to life, can you get humans living again?”
Shawn snickered. “Nope. Sorry, bud.”
Jeremy cussed. “Aw, damn!” And he started walking to the car, chatting with the twins. Jessica gave me a glance and joined too.
Theodore stood by my side. “I’ll rush him back to the mansion. Ms. Fletcher will drive my car, or the vampires will rush it back, whatever.”
He took Lewis’s long body, and then he rushed away like a blur.
Louise watched him go with annoyance. “Humph! Why can’t I carry him back? I bet I’m faster, and that Lewis would’ve liked it better if I carried him!”
“No, I think he would like it if Jessica did,” said Justin.
Louise shot back a reply as she closed the door.
I stared ahead where Theodore ran away, the only one still standing out.
But then someone approached my right side, and from the tall, tight figure, and hairstyle shape, I knew it was Delaney.
“He loved you, you know,” she said in her low, quiet voice.
I turned to her. “I suspected that a little.” I knew that his kiss was more than just a way to suck my blood.
“He isn’t the kind of person who falls for many girls,” she murmured. “He only liked Jessica, and had no crush on any girl but Jessica. She liked him as a friend only, though, which is very rare for a girl to not have at least a small crush on him. So they never went out.”
I met her piercing gaze. “You didn’t like him either, not even as a friend.”
“I grew more used to him as we traveled together, though I still never really talked to him much unless I had to. But I wasn’t his enemy or anything. But Lewis liked you, I can tell that. He’s not the only one who can tell how a person feels by their eyes. I’ll admit, he is a little better at it than I am, but I can still tell his feelings as well.
“And I still never asked out Justin, even though I still like him.”
“Why not?” I winced.
She gave a slight sideways smile. “Usually when people ask out someone they have a crush on, they grow to get tired of them, and they don’t have the same feelings for them anymore since they got what they want and are together with them. They don’t have the right crush on them after that. I want to keep my feelings for him, so I just don’t ask him out. He thinks I just don’t have a crush on him anymore, as well as everybody else, except Lewis. He still knew my feelings, and I guess he passed it on to Dalton.”
I made a face. “No offense, but you seem like the kind of person who would want to forget those feelings for somebody.”
She chuckled quietly. “I would… least I thought I would.”
I said nothing for a moment. Then I slipped Aurora’s necklace from my pocket, looking at the red gem.
“You keep that. We won’t steal it, as much as we want Lewis back, we won’t steal it,” she said smoothly.
I blinked. “So it’s just like that? You’re not going to try to bring Lewis back, or kill anyone anymore? It doesn’t make sense.”
“Look, if we bring Lewis back to life, he’ll be more dangerous than ever, you know that. I know the twins, Jessica, Louise, and I aren’t good people at heart, but we’re not that bad to the point when we’re too evil and unstoppable.”
“What about Louise?” I questioned. “I mean, she doesn’t seem pretty convincing that she’ll try to behave now.”
“Oh, don’t worry about her. She’s just upset that Lewis is gone. She’s actually very depressed, trust me. She’s trying to hide that by being so stuck-up. But trust me, she’ll keep her promise.”
“Hey, wait a minute,” I looked around in horror. “Where’s Leonardo?!”
“Oh, he ran off,” she said. “He told us he’ll be back for us, but he knew Lewis was good by himself, and in case if he wasn’t, he was going to escape so nothing would happen to him.”
I dropped my mouth open in horror. “So he’s still out there?!”
“He’s just as bad as Lewis! He’ll be pissed at all of us since Lewis is dead!”
“He’s my father. He will be pissed, yes, and he will come back soon. We’ll just have to be prepared again.”
I huffed. “He escaped….again.”
“Nikki? Delaney? You two coming in?” Called Ms. Fletcher.
I turned, putting the necklace in my pocket. “Yeah,” I said dryly.
The two of us got in the car. It was full, and the twins decided to push us back so we would get home quickly.

Finally, we reached my street, and my house was just a few blocks away.
Lynn and I jumped out of the car.
“We’ll have to come up with something to tell our parents what had happened,” I said. “It’s too late, and I think I left my cell phone at William’s party.”
“Smart,” Lynn teased, and then laughed. “I left mine there also. Hopefully William’s nice enough to give it back to us at school.”
“Hey, if you guys see Dalton, tell him about our deal,” said Jessica.
“Sure,” I said quietly.
We started walking towards our house, but then Lynn narrowed her eyes ahead of her. “Hey, someone’s out late.”
I looked up and saw a figure coming our way ahead on the sidewalk. I shrugged and looked to the ground, not caring. But then as I looked up again, I started to recognize the figure, slim and long, stiff hair, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. “Jessie?!” I squinted my eyes to see her.
The figure stopped and stared at us.
As we walked a little closer, I saw her better, and screamed with delight. “Jessie!”
Lynn and I ran towards her, and hugged her, nearly falling over with her.
“Ugh! Dude, you scared the hell outta me! I thought you were a robber or something!” She yelled, though she sounded happy as well.
“Is that Jessie?” Came Analiese’s voice, coming out of the car.
“It’s her! She’s alive!” I shouted happily.
Everyone yelled and ran towards her, though the vampires walked slowly behind.
Everyone crowded around and hugged her. Jessie winced, widening her eyes in surprise, though she seemed to be enjoying all the attention.
“Dang, you’re so cold,” Lynn said.
“Are you a vampire?” Jeremy asked suddenly.
Jessie shrugged. “I dunno. I don’t feel like one.”
“No, she’s no vampire,” came Louise’s voice from behind.
“Then why isn’t she dead?” Said Jeremy.
“Well, I guess when Dalton bit her,” began Jessica slyly, “the venom must’ve not been enough to kill her, yet it was too weak to transform her into a vampire. Dalton must’ve been so weak, his blood wasn’t enough, yet it still did go inside of her, and I guess now….she just has vampire blood in her.”
I turned to Ms. Fletcher. “Just like you.”
“Yep, that’s better than being a vampire,” she said. “You don’t have to thirst for blood, you’ll still be a regular human, you just have vampire blood in you.”
Suddenly, Theodore appeared behind Ms. Fletcher, and gave her the Twilight Rose. “I took it out of Lewis. Leonardo is still out there, and we can still use it in case.”
She took the rose. “Well, I think Nikki should keep it. I trust her,” she winked at me. “She’s the one Leonardo is most likely to go after since she killed Lewis.”
“You killed Lewis?!” Jessie exclaimed in surprise.
I really didn’t want to talk about it, not even with her. “I really can’t keep the rose,” I said solemnly. “I’ve got this necklace to look after already.”
“Can I keep the rose?” Jessie pleaded. “It looks so pretty- ew! It’s got blood on it!” She felt the stem and touched the blood that was still on there.
Theodore chuckled. “I carried Jessie back when I found her appearing from the basement. She was asleep since the blood was mixing in her, so I already had the rose, and I took her along with me.”
“Nikki, you really should keep that rose, it’s easier to use than the necklace,” said Analiese.
“Whatever,” I sighed. I didn’t feel like bargaining. I took the rose.
“We’ll be going now,” said Ms. Fletcher. “You all need to get home. See you all later. Jessie, would you like to go with us?”
Jessie gave me a glance and shrugged. “Sure.”
“Call me!” I called as she walked away with them.
“You don’t have your cell phone,” Lynn reminded me, chuckling.
“Oh yeah, damn, that’s right,” I turned and headed to my house.
I sighed. “Lynn, you keep the necklace, you found it. And you took good care of it. I’ll keep the rose.” I handed her the necklace.
“How do you take care of that rose anyway?” She asked.
“Dunno. If I can’t find Dalton to tell me about it, I’ll search it online.”

It turned out that the Twilight Rose was quite easy to take care of. All it needed was to be by the window, in a vase, and face the window when it was twilight, and it had to be removed before the sun came out, or else the sun would kill it. It was just like a vampire.
I was back to school, with bandages on my ankles, though I removed the bandage from my right had to my left where Lewis had cut it. I didn’t want to look like a freak with two bandages wrapped around both my hands.
I told my parents that I was wasted at the party and that I fell asleep in William’s basement and didn’t wake up until four in the morning. They punished me, but when I told them about Lewis being the murderer, and how he tried to murder me, they immediately left me alone and made sure my wounds were alright.
Dalton still didn’t show up in school either for the rest of the week, and I was starting to feel very worried and melancholy, though the relief that Jessie was alive made me feel better, despite she was still her weird, self-centered blabbering self. It was strange to see that she and I always got along.
Jenny was okay, though her shock that Lewis really tried to kill her was even worse than her broken nose. But for all she knew, he only tried to kill her, not bite her.
No one but me, Jessie, Dalton, Ashton, Jeremy, Analiese, Lynn, and Ms. Fletcher knew about Lewis or his friends, and we never told anyone. Lewis was just considered a killer, not a vampire.
And I was beginning to trust Jessica, Delaney, the twins, and even Louise more. They were back to their normal selves, talking with everyone, and even Louise became back to her crazy, talkative, girly self. She and Jessie became like me and Analiese, taunting and teasing each other, knowing they were friends at heart. And Jeremy even asked out Delaney.
The vampires all lived on animal blood, and swore to never harm a human as long as we kept our promise as well.
But in the midst of it all, I was still longing to see Dalton. Where was he? Did he meet up with Leonardo? Did he run away all the way to China? Was he ever going to come back?

On Friday night, I was staring out my window, not able to sleep. Every time I slept, I dreamt of Dalton. I didn’t even have nightmares about Lewis or Leonardo, I only dreamt of Dalton. Every day I thought of him, longing more and more, grieving more and more, and every day, I wanted to crawl into my own coffin and never come out whenever he didn’t show up to school. There was always someone missing at my tables, for he sat next to me in every class but history. I had no science partner, and I had to talk with the people in front of me whenever Ms. Fletcher made us chat with our science partners. I couldn’t keep myself from dropping a tear or two every time I looked over at Lewis’s desk, for his science partner had been Danielle, and now both were gone. The desk was empty.

I did get my phone back, and yes, I did send text messages and try calling Dalton over and over again, every day, but there was no response, until finally, on Thursday, William said that he found Dalton’s phone behind his couch. I kept the phone for him, and saw that he had no exciting pictures, except for pictures of him….and Danielle. There were only about two of three of him and Marianna. He always made cool facial expressions on his pictures, or held up the peace sign. I cried in my room every time I looked at his pictures, ignoring Danielle and Marianna, and focused on him.

On this Friday night, I had just had the worst dream of all, how I had been in the shower, for the longest time, and had tried to commit suicide by taking pills and drinking toothpaste. Then Dalton came in and stopped me, only to kiss me and suck the blood out of me, the way he did with Danielle and Marianna. I woke up as soon as I felt the life sucked out of me.
I looked to my left and saw the Twilight flower on the windowsill, the full moon shining on it. I looked at my clock. It was midnight, and I really didn’t want to go back to sleep. I slowly got out of bed. I was in a black nightgown again, and I had my hair down. I sighed and stared out my window. I really felt dead, the way I felt in my dream. I touched the red rose, feeling the stem, the blood from Lewis had dried up and still stuck to the stem.

People at school were noticing I was troubled, and they must’ve known it was because of Dalton. Ms. Fletcher even called his parents once, and even they were worried and didn’t know where he was.
I did hear people saying I was starting to look emo, even though I didn’t change the way I dressed like I did when Gabriel broke up with me. I still wore high crazy ponytails, and I did act like myself around people and my friends, but people did notice the down looks I had when they turned their backs, or when I was in class.

I left my window, and made my way downstairs to the front door. Jack was at our house, and he awoke and joined my side as I was about to open the front door.
I petted his head softly. “Jack, stay here. I really don’t know where I’m going.”
Jack was obedient, and I left the house by myself. I slowly walked down the sidewalk, alone in my thoughts, and found myself at my neighborhood park. It looked pretty, for the moon was shining down right on it. I sat at a bench, and laid back. It was weird taking a walk without my iPod, but I really didn’t feel like listening to anything right now, except for my thoughts.
Suddenly, to my left, I heard something in the bushes. I winced when something rushed through the bushes, and for a moment, I was hopeful, but then I faded away again as a rabbit just popped out, and disappeared to the other side.
I watched it go with tired eyes. I still had light eyeliner on, for I didn’t feel like taking it off when I was depressed. I turned back to face the playground in front of me. I suddenly felt cold, and not from the chill in the night air

Suddenly, I gasped as I saw, in the distance on the sidewalk to my left, a dark figure approaching. It was walking slowly, and seemed to be facing towards me. I narrowed my eyes, and gasped as I saw a long cape flowing back from behind. The hair wasn’t pointy like Lewis, so it wasn’t him rising from the dead. I stood up in shock.
No, Leonardo. Don’t kill me. I don’t want to… but again, I felt like I could die anyway. I was just about to leave.
“Stay away from me, Leonardo,” I murmured.
“Nikki? Is that you?” Said the figure.
I gasped. “Dalton?”
He appeared in front of me in the moonlight, and I was looking at his white face, looking surprised, yet, with a hint of sadness.
“Crap, you scared me!” I said, breathing. “I thought you were….”
“I’ve followed him. I saw where he went,” said Dalton quietly. “He’s run all the way to a boat to the North Pole.”
“What?” I winced.
He met my gaze. “It was where he was born, and he’s probably just there to hide for a while, until he thinks of something.”
“Well, why did you just disappear that night when Lewis’s friends suddenly came over? You were gone the whole week, but it seemed like a year!”
“Well,” he looked away. “I didn’t want to be seen by them. Whether they were going to attack or not, I didn’t want to be seen since their most powerful leader was dead, and I wasn’t. It would’ve been pretty embarrassing, and anyway, you had Theodore to protect you instead. So once I caught Leonardo, I followed him, and followed him for a week, until he reached the boat to the North Pole. It just took me a long time to return since I still hadn’t been drinking enough blood. That principal was nothing, it only gave me enough energy to fight back with Lewis and follow Leonardo for a day, and then I was totally weak. I couldn’t even catch that rabbit that just ran away.”
“Well, you could’ve told me at least,” I muttered. “I felt dead without you.” I admitted.
He looked up to face me.
“And plus, Lewis’s friends, they decided to live on animal blood and not kill anyone, only if we keep their secret and say nothing about Lewis being a vampire. So far, they’ve been behaving themselves.”
“Oh,” he said quietly. “I know how you felt about Lewis. I felt the same way also. But he’s worse than Leonardo, trust me.”
I said nothing for a moment, and for the longest time, we seemed to just stand there, not looking at each other or saying a word. Finally I sighed. “Jessie’s alive. When you bit her, your blood was too weak to kill her, or exactly turn her into a vampire, so, like Ms. Fletcher, she’s only got vampire blood in her.”
He looked at me, looking a little hopeful. “I really didn’t mean to bite her. It was just that she….pissed me off and I was already thirsty, so I couldn’t resist.”
“Well, I guess you’re still thirsty now, huh?”
He chuckled, not meeting my gaze. “I’m not gonna hurt you, don’t worry.”
I blinked slowly and looked away. “It must be hard for you. You’re always trying to control your thirst, yet you still managed to save me and Jessie…and all of us.”
He didn’t look any more hopeful. “Not really. You’re the one who killed Lewis.”
“Well, you’re the one who held him back pretty well, along with Leonardo and the others.”
He shrugged. “Hey, just to tell you, Lewis was really planning on killing Gabirel.” The sound of his name made my heart beat in surprise and I looked at Dalton. “He was gonna frame me for it since you knew I was a vampire. He did have a small crush on you, so he was planning on getting rid of Gabriel, so you would blame me for it, and fear me as well, and go out with him.”
I really didn’t want to talk about that right now. I stared at him for a moment. “So why are you wearing a cape? You made me mistake you.”
He shrugged. “I just got a new one, that’s all. Don’t really know why.”
I saw that his slash on his face was beginning to heal. “At least that slash won’t turn into an ugly scar like Leonardo’s.”
He looked at my hands. “You’ve got quite a lot of wounds too. Hopefully those don’t turn to scars.”
I blinked. “You sure they’re not making you thirsty?” I gave him a smile.
He looked at me. “Nah, I guess not.”
It was quiet for another few seconds, but we were staring into each other’s eyes this time.
“I’ve missed you,” I said quietly.
“I’ve missed you too,” he replied.
For a moment, we looked into each other’s eyes. Then slowly, our heads leaned closer to each other……and we kissed. I felt his sharp teeth, and felt nothing else but love and happiness.
Then, we stopped and looked at each other, both with the same slightly surprised expression that he had kissed me without a bite.

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