Fate, p.16
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       Fate, p.16

         Part #2 of My Blood Approves series by Amanda Hocking
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“And, more importantly, he’s gay. ” I gestured to the club behind us with my thumbs. “Hence, the gay club. ”

  “The good ones always are,” Jane complained in a tiny voice, sounding as if she was doing her best Marilyn Monroe impression. She must’ve fallen asleep to TCM or something last night.

  “What good ones are?” I asked and stepped in between them.

  “It’s just a saying, Alice. ” She had that tone like I was trying on her nerves.

  We walked around the corner to the club, and I looped my arm through Milo’s so he couldn’t get very far away from me. Jane couldn’t stop herself from repeatedly looking over at him, but she did her best to act like she was over it.

  Milo grinned at the doormen, and he let us in. We didn’t even have to pay a cover charge, and I wondered how many other things in life I was missing out on simply because I was ordinary.

  I didn’t have much time to ponder, though, because my head was filled with a dance remix of Lady Gaga. I followed closely behind Milo as we left the entry alcove into the first room of the club.

  It was all blue lights and strobes and pounding beats. Three square platforms sat in the center of the room where groups of shirtless guys danced. On the other side of the room were a glowing bar and a couple couches, and while I could really use a drink, I doubted I’d be able to drag Milo over there anytime soon.

  Within moments of hitting the crowded dance floor, a foxy guy stole Milo from me. Milo tossed me an apologetic smile, but I waved it off. That was the point of the club scene, right?

  Since guys weren’t hitting on Jane, she settled for really pretty lesbians. They made a sandwich, with Jane as the meat. I was really starting to wonder what the reason for my friendship with her was. At some point, with all my fancy vampire shenanigans, didn’t I grow out of her?

  But then, when I realized that I stood alone in the middle of a dance floor, that I was afraid that everyone else would leave me. Jane, in her narcissistic desire for a sidekick, never would.

  I went over to the bar and tried to order a drink, but I almost got myself kicked out. I couldn’t pass for twenty-one, and the bartender thought it’d be good to alert the bouncers that I’d snuck in. I scurried off into the dark recesses of the club so they couldn’t find me.

  Hiding against the dark corners, I found several couples making out in a way that was only appropriate in pornography. With the lack of lighting, I couldn’t really see much of anything, but I put my hands up to my temples to shield myself as best as I could anyway.

  Milo danced shirtless on one of the platforms, and he was definitely the most glorious thing here. Everyone vied for his attention, and I hoped that he made the right choices.

  We hadn’t exactly had the birds and bees talk. Maybe Jack had, in conjunction with a talk about drinking another person’s blood. Those topics would probably be coming up pretty quickly, and I could only hope that he was well-informed.

  Even over the pulsating music and men moaning disturbingly loud, I heard a noise carry above it. It was sweet yet fragile, like a tinkling bell… on helium.

  Someone laughed, and as soon as I heard it, my blood froze. I scanned frantically through the crowd. The strobing lights flashed on a purple head of hair, and then I saw her.

  Violet, the Halloween vampire from the club, looked directly at me, cackling her strange laugh. Her lips were done in black, and her eyes were marked with thick black liner and silver glitter. She flicked her tongue at me, trying to pose as something menacingly seductive, but it felt all too villainess.

  Something about her reminded me of Harley Quinn, the Joker’s would-be-girlfriend, but then I realized what bothered me about that image. She was the girlfriend, the sidekick, the means of distraction while the real trouble moved in.

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  I rushed forward to grab Jane and Milo, and make an escape, but my path was blocked by a dark haired model of perfection – Lucian. His smile was far more menacing than anything Violet could hope for, but that had to do with how hungry he was. His black eyes were ravenous.

  “Care to dance?” Lucian asked, his voice like silk, and my heart hammered in my chest.

  “That’s a stupid thing to say!” I shouted to be heard over the music, and that did something to keep my voice even. “It’s really cheesy and cliché! You should’ve said something like, ‘What’s a girl like you doing in a place like this?’ or ‘Fancy meeting you here. ’”

  I clenched my fists at my sides, and I wanted to look around for Milo, but I was too afraid to take my eyes off Lucian.

  “I know you’re talking, but all I can hear is mooing. ” His smile broadened at that, and I swallowed hard. I wasn’t sure if he meant that my blood was like milk, or that I was just a piece of meat, but either way, it wasn’t complimentary.

  Behind me, I heard Violet’s laughter, and she had closed in on me. We were in a room full of people, though. Even if everyone was enamored with them, they wouldn’t be able to ignore me kicking and screaming.

  And Lucian wouldn’t dare bite me, not with all the witnesses. Vampires didn’t exactly hide who they were, but they didn’t want it broadcast on the nightly news, either.

  This was the only thing I had going for me, and if I stood my ground long enough, somebody would notice me.

  “You’re plotting an escape. ” Lucian sounded amused. “I’d love to see how that turns out. ”

  “I’m not here alone,” I said, and Violet giggled behind me. Lucian glared at her, cutting the sound short.

  “Maybe not, but your knight in shining armor isn’t here to protect you,” Lucian said with unnerving certainty.

  “How do you know that?” I asked

  “Because he’d already be here if he were!” He reached out to touch me, sliding one of his repulsively long finger nails down my cheek, and I jerked my head back, terrified of what would happen if he drew blood. “Jumpy, are we?”

  He wanted to eat me, and I definitely did not want him to. He was much stronger, faster, and probably even smarter than me. The only thing I had was the room full of people and Milo, so I had to utilize them before it was too late.

  I bolted out into the dance floor. Someone grabbed at my dress, and I assumed it was Violet, because Lucian seemed too smart to cause a scene like that. The fabric ripped in the back and I felt a breeze through my panties. If I hadn’t been running for my life, I would’ve been mortified.

  With one magical leap, I managed to jump on the nearest platform. It was about two feet off the ground, so it wasn’t that impressive, except I’m 5’3” running through a crowded gay club with a torn dress and a vampire on my tail.

  Milo was on the next cube over, though, and I yelled his name, hoping to catch his attention, but he was making out with the saucy little number dancing with him.

  I leapt from one platform to another, and Lucian hissed behind me. Landing roughly on the platform, I started falling into a guy, but then Milo caught me with startling ease and grace.

  “What’s wrong?” Milo gripped my arm.

  “He’s here!” I shouted.

  “Who?” Milo scanned the floor

  Before I could answer, he snarled, and I knew that he’d spotted Lucian and Violet. His eyes narrowed and his pupils dilated, and I could see him transforming into attack mode. There was something incredibly primal and rather terrifying about it.

  “Milo!” I yelled when his hand gripping my arm got painful. I broke his concentration, and his eyes snapped back down to me.

  “We have to get out of here,” Milo said. Underneath his new confidence and strength, I saw genuine fear.

  Still holding onto me, he jumped off the platform, and I heard some disappointed boo’s from the crowd about his departure. We had made it most of the way to the door when I saw Jane kissing one of the girls in her lesbian sandwich. In all the panic of trying to get out of here, I’d almost forgotten about her.

  I though
t about leaving her behind for her safety, since vampires were chasing us. But they might have seen her come in with us, so I grabbed her hand. She looked like she wanted to slap it away, but Milo was dragging us, and she saw him shirtless, so she went with it.

  Milo yanked us outside. I tripped over my feet, and I wanted to let go of Jane so I could just hang onto to him and concentrate on walking, but Lucian had definitely seen her.

  “Why are we rushing? I’m gonna break a damn ankle!” Jane shouted.

  “You’ve got to hurry up!” Milo insisted.

  His strides were so long and fast that it was impossible for me to keep up, and I finally fell to the ground. I barely had a chance to scrape my knee and he was pulling me to my feet again, making my arm scream.

  “Milo! You’re gonna dislocate my shoulder!” I winced.

  “Your shoulder can be fixed,” Milo growled, and his nostrils flared. “Dammit, Alice. You’re bleeding. ”

  “It’s your fault. ” My knee was dappled with little drops of blood. My leg hurt to walk on, and I was already slow to begin with. I looked behind us, expecting Lucian to be a few steps back, but there were only other club goers on the sidewalk. “They’re not behind us. ”

  “Then they’re in front of us. ” Milo stopped sharply, and I almost fell again. I could see in front of us, and I had no idea what he was talking about.

  “What in the hell is going on?” Jane demanded, her voice edged with panic.

  “We have to get to the car. ” Milo picked me up and threw me over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. I yelped in surprise, but I didn’t protest. “Jane, you have to keep up. If you can’t, I’m leaving you behind. ”

  “What are you-” Before she could finish, he was moving again, this time even faster than before. He had grabbed her hand and yanked her forward.

  Milo jumped over the guardrail into the parking lot, and Jane scrambled much less nimbly behind him. He scanned everywhere, searching for any sign of them, and I could feel his ragged breathing. He wasn’t hurrying enough to be short of breath, so it had to be because he struggled with the scent of my blood.

  Even if Milo saved me from Lucian, he wouldn’t be able to save me from himself.

  We had just about reached the car, and I thought we had really made it. Out of nowhere, Lucian appeared, leaning against the drivers’ side of the Jetta. He grinned at us, and Milo tightened his grip around me so much it hurt, but I was too scared to complain.

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  “Who is that?” Jane asked, and if she had it her way, she wouldn’t be running from him.

  “Just go away!” Milo shouted.

  “You know, you’ve only succeeded in scenting the air,” Lucian told him. “It’s the same thing they do with sharks. They bait the water with blood to attract them, and it puts them in a frenzy. Did you know that?”

  “Please just move,” Milo said through gritted teeth.

  “How are you feeling about now? A little frantic yourself?” Lucian took a step away from the car, towards us, and Milo tensed up more.

  “I’m putting you down, and you just need to get in the car. ” Milo dug in his pocket for the car keys, and I gripped onto him, unwilling to let him set me down.

  “Violet is roaming around somewhere,” I said.

  “You just have to get in the car,” Milo repeated as he handed Jane the car keys. “Jane, just get Alice in the car. That’s all you need to do. ”

  “Okay?” Jane replied unsurely.

  “Milo!” I yelled, but that only made Lucian laugh.

  “Maybe you should listen to her,” Lucian said, but Milo lowered me to the ground.

  Once I was standing, with my knee threatening to give out, Milo still kept a hand on my shoulder, as if reluctant to let me go. For a moment, he stood there, staring down Lucian, and none of us moved. Then I heard the click of the keyless entry as Jane unlocked the car doors.

  That must’ve been the cue for go, because everybody burst into life. Taking my hand, Jane rushed towards the car, and Milo dove at Lucian. There was the sound of snarling and gnashing teeth, but I tried not to look at them.

  I felt hands like talons grabbing at my arms and legs, and I heard Violet’s familiar high pitched squeal as she tried to capture me. I just kept running, letting the panic and adrenaline burn through my legs as Jane pulled me to the car.

  She yanked open the door and threw me in before jumping in herself. She landed on top of me, but managed to slam the door shut, and Violet slammed into it, screaming in disappointment.

  - 19 -

  Jane locked the car door. I slid all the way across the seat, pressing my back against the window opposite of the one Violet glared at us through. Jane moved with me, and when Violet smacked her open palms against the window, Jane and I both screamed.

  Hysteria was about ready to take over, and if Violet kept beating on the glass with her superhuman strength, it wouldn’t be long before she got in.

  Milo threw her off the window, and past him, I could see a dent in the car next to us. Lucian wasn’t in sight, but bloody scratches were all up and down Milo’s torso. He hit the window so we would unlock the doors, and Jane leaned over and did.

  Milo opened the car door and Violet lunged at his back. She bit into his neck, using her razor sharp incisors. He pushed her off, and she crumpled to the ground. He hopped in the driver’s seat and locked the doors behind him. Blood streamed down his neck, but he didn’t even seem aware of it.

  “You’re bleeding!” Jane gasped.

  “Give me the keys. ” Milo held his hand out.

  Violet threw herself on the windshield and pounded the glass with her fists. Her crazy purple eyes stared right through me and she purposely bared her teeth.

  “Get us out of here!” Jane screamed as she gave him the keys.

  He started the car and peeled out. Violet flew off the windshield, landing somewhere I couldn’t see. Milo squealed out of the parking lot with little regard for other traffic, but everybody made room for him as he drove off into the night.

  We weren’t going in the direction of home, not his house or mine, but by the way he kept glancing in the rearview mirror, there was a reason for it.

  We sped down the road, and Jane felt safe enough to move away from where she had me pinned to the door. She looked down at my tattered dress, and without even asking, she tore off the bottom half of my skirt. Balling the fabric up in her hand, she pressed it against the wound on Milo’s neck, and he jerked away from her touch.

  “I’m trying to stop the bleeding so you don’t die. ” Jane sounded hurt.

  “I’m fine,” Milo snapped, and his eyes darted back up the rearview mirror.

  “Are they following us?” I asked.

  “I don’t know. I didn’t see him, though. But I can’t imagine he would just give up. ” His words rang truer then I would’ve liked, and I had to swallow hard to keep from throwing up.

  “What is going on?” Jane asked. Leaning in between the seats, she still kept the rag pressed against Milo’s neck.

  “It’s hard to explain,” I said.

  I sunk lower in the seat, keeping myself out of sight from the passing cars, even though I’m sure Lucian already had a good look at the car, and even if he didn’t, he could see Milo driving.

  Tearing off more of my skirt, I pressed it on my own wounded knee and the scratches Violet had inflicted on my legs, trying to stop the scent of blood from filling up the car. I wanted to crack the window, but letting the night in terrified me.

  “They looked like vampires!” Jane said, and my heart skipped a beat. Milo’s eyes met mine in the rearview mirror, and neither of us knew how to address that topic. “Did you see the fangs on that girl? And those crazy eyes? She must’ve been on something. ”

  “Yeah, probably,” I agreed hastily.

  “What did they want with you guys? They looked like they were obsessed or som
ething. ” Jane looked back at me, hoping I would give her answers, but I avoided her gaze and shook my head.

  “I don’t really know. ” I swallowed hard, because that wasn’t exactly a lie.

  “You should call the police or something,” Jane said. “Or at least go to the hospital. You’re covered in…”

  She was looking over his chest, and I knew she was getting that sense of confusion and disbelief that I had when I saw Jack’s wounds disappear. Blood was still left from where he’d been cut, proving that she wasn’t insane, but there were no cuts.

  She pulled back the rag from his neck and gasped. Where there should’ve been a hideous gouge, there was only pink raised flash, like a fresh scar.

  “How did you do that? How can you possibly do that?” Jane trembled and all the color had drained from her face.

  “Jane, look at me,” I said. “You don’t wanna know. ”

  “Of course I want to know!” Jane insisted, but she looked as if she might cry.

  “Not right now, okay? After everything that’s happened. Can we just let it be?” I pleaded with her.

  Page 48

  “Are you guys okay? Are you… normal?” Jane asked. I lifted the rag off my knee, revealing my scraped and bloody injury.

  “I’m still me. Okay? I haven’t changed at all,” I tried to soothe her. She nodded and sat back in the seat next to me.

  That was apparently enough reassurance for the time being. Or so I thought.

  Turning to look at me, tears pooled in her eyes. Her fingers shook as she pushed a strand of hair from her face, and in a quivering voice, she whispered, “They’re vampires, aren’t they?”

  “Some things are better if you don’t know them,” I said. She bit her lip and nodded, but I didn’t know if she took that at as a yes or what.

  “I wish Jack were here,” Milo said and ran a hand through his dark hair.

  “I think we all do,” I said.

  “I mean, I know I can take care of myself. But protecting you two…” he trailed off. “I don’t know. I don’t think I’m ready. ”

  Sitting in the backseat of a locked car speeding down the highway, I did feel reasonably safe. But Milo had a point. Jane took my hand in hers and squeezed it tightly. There was a reason she was my best friend.

  Despite all her shortcomings, Jane had saved my life tonight, and she let me keep secrets when I needed to most. There had to be something said for her.

  “Okay. So. Here’s the plan. I’m going to drive around for awhile. When I think it’s safe or we’re about to run out of gas, we’ll go to my house. And Mae will know what to do,” Milo decided.

  My whole body trembled and the adrenaline wore off painfully. Milo kept his eyes fixed on the road and the rearview mirror, and somehow Jane managed to drift off after awhile. She rested her head against my shoulder, and I stared out the windows, wondering if the car next to us might be filled with bloodthirsty vampires.

  When I started getting tired, that’s when I felt unsafe. I didn’t trust myself to stay awake, and I didn’t know what would happen if I fell asleep. I pulled my phone out of my bra, which was the only place I could put it when I wore a dress to clubs.

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