Fate, p.9
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       Fate, p.9

         Part #2 of My Blood Approves series by Amanda Hocking
 
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“You didn’t do anything?” Jack let go of my hand and eyed me up severely.

  “No, I didn’t. I mean, like kissing, but you know, just that. It was nothing at all. ” I started zipping up my pants when something occurred to me. “I’m wearing a purple a thong. ”

  “You’re wearing a purple thong?” Jack raised an eyebrow, but since I was drunk, I couldn’t get a read on his emotions. I didn’t know if it was an intrigued I’d-like-to-see-more eyebrow, or a disapproving you’re-a-huge-slut eyebrow.

  “Yeah. Wanna see?” I offered.

  “Just get in the car,” Jack said, not unkindly, and walked around to the driver’s seat.

  “Sorry,” I mumbled. When I got in the car, a tear slid down my cheek, but I tried to wipe it away before he noticed.

  “That’s what you were doing when I called?” He kept his voice even, but the car squealed away from the house. His hands gripped the steering wheel too tightly, and I sunk deeper into the seat.

  “He kept pouring me shots, and I don’t remember most of the night. I don’t even remember how I got in the room. But when I realized what was going on, I pushed him off of me, and then you just happened to call like a second later. ” I played with my hair and shook my head.

  “I don’t know why I have to explain myself to you, anyway,” I said. “You were too busy to even talk to me tonight. It’s not my fault that you decided to grace me with your presence the one time I’m actually out doing something. ”

  “Oh, yeah. Because I’m just busy partying it up all the time. That’s why I can’t talk to you,” Jack scoffed.

  “I was just sick of sitting in that stupid apartment waiting for you!” I snapped. “So when Jane texted me-”

  “I should’ve known she’d be the source of all this,” he laughed darkly.

  “You’re the one that suggested I hang out with her while you’re so ‘busy. ’” When I made the little air quotes for busy, he rolled his eyes.

  “I didn’t mean it. I just felt guilty for leaving you alone all the time, but I took it back right away. That’s why I had Mae come get you. ”

  “Oh, yeah, thank you for that, by the way. Great idea. ”

  “What? You love Mae!” Jack looked at me dubiously. “How was that not a great idea?”

  “Because! I wanted to see you!” I shouted, then instantly regretted saying it.

  “Do you think that this is what I wanted?” Jack countered. “That I wanted you to hang out with Jane, getting drunk, and messing around with random date rapists? Yeah, this is exactly what I wanted, Alice. ”

  “It’s not my fault that that’s what it feels like. ” I crossed my arms over my chest.

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  “Well, good thing you got smashed tonight so you could figure it all out!”

  “You couldn’t even return a text message today!” I yelled. “And when I called, you couldn’t wait to get off the phone! I’ve barely talked to you lately! And you just…” Biting my lip, I didn’t even finish the thought.

  “I couldn’t stay on the phone with you! I shouldn’t even have answered the phone in the first place. Things almost got really out of control because I didn’t want to hurt your feelings, and now you’re mad at me because that wasn’t good enough for you?” He shook his head.

  “It was a five second phone call! What could’ve gotten so out of control?” I asked skeptically.

  “Milo!”

  “Milo?” I looked at him, waiting for him elaborate, but he didn’t. “What? Did he… I don’t know. I can’t even think of anything he could’ve been doing that would be out of control. ”

  “I was teaching him to eat. ”

  “What?” The air went out of my lungs, and a nauseous feeling crept up inside of me. “I thought… I thought he was eating. ”

  “Out of bags,” he said quietly. “But… he needs to learn how to do it with live… people. ”

  “Why?” I asked. “Why does he have to know?”

  “Because there isn’t always bags, and because it happens, and because when he does it I want to make sure he doesn’t kill somebody. ” Saying it made him uncomfortable, but he sounded more angry than he did embarrassed. “As it was, he could’ve killed her tonight. He was going crazy while I was on the phone with you, and I had to stop and show him how so he didn’t break her neck. ”

  “You had to show him how?” My mouth went dry and I gripped onto the car to keep my hands from shaking. “You bit a girl tonight?”

  “I am a vampire, Alice,” Jack sounded weary, but he wouldn’t look me in the eye.

  I remembered how amazing and intense it felt when Peter drank my blood, and how crazed and delirious Jack got just over the taste of it. For vampires, drinking blood from a person was far more intimate than sex. Tonight, Jack had been that intimate with someone else, and it made me sick to my stomach.

  “Pull over!” I screamed. The combination of Jack’s confession and the vodka were not mixing well, and I felt like I was going to throw up at any second.

  “Alice?”

  “Pull over now!”

  He pulled sharply onto the grass next to the highway. I opened the car door and swung my legs out. As soon as my bare feet hit the grass, I started to feel better, and the cool night blew against me.

  I kept swallowing until I felt like I was okay, then sat back up. I left the door open and my feet in the grass, though, just to be on the safe side.

  “Are you okay?” Jack had completely softened from earlier, and he reached out to touch me, but I pulled away.

  “I’ll be fine. I just need a minute. ”

  Closing my eyes, I did my best not to think about Jack biting another girl. To feel that close with somebody, it was impossible to describe. When Peter drank my blood, his heartbeat was my heartbeat. Knowing that Jack was capable of feeling that with anyone else, when he hadn’t even felt that with me…

  “I know why you’re upset and I don’t blame you. ” His voice was low and apologetic. “But Milo has to learn. He’s still so volatile. In all honesty, I should’ve waited, and if I had, I probably wouldn’t have had to physically demonstrate.

  “But I didn’t want to wait,” he said. “I want to get through all of this as quickly as possible, so he can be independent, and you can turn. I did this so you could hurry up and come live with us. ”

  “I’m not going to turn,” I said, and my words came out harsher than I meant.

  “What?”

  “I talked to Ezra the other day. ” I finally opened my eyes and glanced over at him, and his blue eyes swam with confusion and pain. “He said that I still have to hold off for a couple years. It’s not safe or healthy for Milo. I don’t think you can rush through this, no matter how hard you try. ”

  “But…” He stared off at nothing, digesting it all.

  “Maybe this is all a sign,” I said thickly when he didn’t speak. “I don’t mean just tonight. Everything with Milo and Peter. It’s like everything in the universe is saying that this won’t work for me. ”

  “Two years really isn’t that long,” Jack said quickly.

  “Jack! You know that’s not the only thing!” I leaned my head back on the seat.

  “Alice…” He breathed deeply. When he spoke, his voice was barely a whisper. “When I called, it was because something felt off. I knew something was going on with you. And by the time I got to the exit, I knew exactly where you were at. I could feel you, scared and alone. I can’t just turn that off. You can’t just throw this away. ”

  “What am I supposed to do?” I asked.

  He looked at me desperately, and a longing radiated from him. The alcohol was either wearing off or he was overpowering it. A panicked need overtook him because he thought he was losing me.

  I leaned over and pressed my lips against his, and he gave into it. He wrapped his arms around me, pulling me as close to him as he could without hurting me, and his mouth worked ferocious
ly against mine. He tasted amazing, and his skin burned hot.

  We’d only been kissing for a few seconds when abruptly, he stopped, and pushed me back from him. Gently but firmly, he held me at arm’s length and struggled to catch his breath.

  “Alice, that’s way too dangerous,” he panted.

  “You’re really not helping the case, you know?” I pulled away from his arms and slunk down in the seat.

  “The only reason I have any restraint is because I just ate,” Jack said, leaning back. “Otherwise, that could’ve been very bad. ”

  “Thanks for reminding me about that,” I grimaced.

  “You can’t really talk. At least what I did, I did because it’s how I survive and it was to help your little brother. You just did that… for fun. And you can’t use being drunk as an excuse because you wore a purple thong. That was premeditated. ”

  “It was not! I wore the panties cause I wanted to feel fun and dangerous!”

  “You’re dangerous alright,” Jack muttered.

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  “Whatever. ” I slammed the car door shut. “Just take me home. ”

  “Can do. ”

  Neither of us spoke the rest of the way home, because that seemed like the safest bet. I was hurt, angry, and disappointed in both of us, and he felt pretty much the same. When he finally pulled up in front of my apartment, he sighed and turned to me.

  “Look, Alice, I don’t want you to go home mad. ”

  “Neither do I,” I said. “So. Fix it. ”

  “Okay,” Jack laughed. “Since you can’t turn right away anyway, I can stop rushing Milo. That means that I can put less time into getting him ready, and I can make more time for you. You won’t feel so shut out. ”

  “Thank you. ” I bit my lip and looked at him gratefully.

  “I don’t know if this helps any, but I really, really wanna kiss you right now,” Jack said with a sad smile. “And yeah, I did wanna see your purple thong. ”

  “I don’t know how that helps,” I smiled. It stung a little, because I knew it couldn’t happen, but it made me feel better knowing that he still wanted it to.

  “Yeah, I guess it doesn’t really. ” He pushed a hair off my forehead, and he looked at me intently. When he breathed in deeply, his eyes went wistful. “Go. Before I give in. ”

  “Okay,” I nodded and opened the car door.

  “I’ll call you. Tomorrow. I promise. ”

  Jack waited outside until I was safely in the apartment. When I went into my bedroom, I looked out the window, and he was still waiting outside. I watched him for a few minutes, but then he finally pulled away.

  After sleeping fitfully, “Time Warp,” Jack’s ringtone, woke me up first thing in the afternoon. When I rolled over and picked up my phone, I found a text message that sent a nervous shiver through me.

  Text me as soon as you get this. That was all it said.

  - 12 -

  I assumed the worst. Like Milo had gone on a rampage or Mae had developed vampire cancer or something.

  What’s wrong? Is everything okay? I texted Jack.

  Nothing. Everything’s great. I just wanted to get you here as soon as possible. Jack replied almost instantly.

  Why? Did something happen? I texted back and sat up in bed.

  The sun hadn’t fully set yet, and reddish light streamed in through a gap in my curtains. He was up early, at least for him. Something had to have woken him, and he wanted me over there. My mind raced, trying to figure out what it could be.

  Peter. That had to be it. Peter had come back.

  Jack still hadn’t replied, so I got out of bed and searched through my room for something to wear. I wanted to look good if Peter came back. Technically, he was my intended. Kinda. I think.

  I really, really don’t understand vampire biology, and I didn’t really understand Peter either.

  I had discarded three shirts on my floor when my phone started to ring. Not like text message but actual incoming call ringing, and my heart skipped a beat.

  “Jack? What’s going on?” I demanded breathlessly when I picked up the phone.

  “You’re totally freaking out right now,” he laughed. I was mid-heart attack by then, and he laughed.

  “Why is that funny?” I asked, but hearing him laugh made my nerves settle down.

  “You’re so paranoid!” Jack continued laughing. “Milo told me you would freak out if I just told you to text me without an explanation. ” I heard Milo say something in the background, and Jack laughed harder. “Yeah, she is. I think she’s getting pissed now, though. ”

  “Good call,” I said.

  “Sorry. ” He suppressed his laughter. “We just had a big night of fun planned, and I wanted you to get over here so you can get ready. ”

  “A big night?”

  “Yeah. We’re going out,” he said mischievously.

  “Out?” I echoed.

  The last time Jack and I had actually gone out anywhere, it was like a month ago. We went to Valley Fair, this amusement park in Shakopee. Even though we didn’t get there until almost ten, the park was pretty packed.

  We hardly waited in line for anything. Everyone offered to let Jack go in front of them, and by association, me too.

  That sounds awesome, but after this chick wearing only a bikini top and Daisy Dukes shorts tried to steal my seat next to him on the Wild Thing, I kind of freaked out and said I was never going in public with him again.

  “Don’t sound so nervous. It’s not gonna be like Valley Fair. I promise,” he said.

  “Okay?” I said, because that was the only thing I could really do.

  “Awesome. So I’ll pick you up in like ten minutes. ”

  “No, wait! I’m still in my pajamas and everything!” I was just wearing girl boxers and a wife beater. I couldn’t imagine anywhere this would be a good look.

  “Mae has some clothes for you. You’re getting ready here. Trust me,” Jack insisted wickedly. “It’s better this way. ”

  “What is going on?” I asked, baffled.

  “Just be outside in ten minutes. ”

  “Jack!” I shouted, but he’d hung up. And if I wasn’t downstairs in eleven minutes, he’d probably come up and get me.

  I ran a brush through my hair but it was still a ridiculous mess, so I pulled it back in a messy bun. I slipped on my flip-flops and ran downstairs, just in time to see Jack pulling up out front.

  “You know, I don’t think you’ll even need Mae’s clothes,” Jack grinned and turned down the Beastie Boys when I got in the car. “You look smoking hot in that. I mean, are those even shorts? Or just slightly long underwear?”

  “They’re pajamas!” I blushed and struggled to pull down the boxers so they covered my legs better.

  “You slept over at my house lots of times, and you never wore those shorts. ” He started driving and pretended like he was watching the road, but I could see him appraising me out of the corner of his eye.

  “Your house is cold. I have to wear warm pajamas. My house is like ten million degrees. And I wanted to put on real clothes, but you didn’t give me enough time, so this is all your fault. ”

  “Hey, I am not complaining,” he laughed. “And I’m definitely turning the thermostat up the next time you stay over. ”

  “Oh will you stop looking at me like that!” I rolled my eyes at him. “You’ve seen me in a bikini before. Get over it! Its pajamas!”

  “Sorry!” Jack smirked. “You’re right. You look nice is all. ”

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  “Where are we going anyway?” I tried to change the subject.

  “My house. ”

  “After that. ”

  “Oh, you’ll see. ” His smile was definitely wicked, and I wondered what exactly I had in store for me.

  When we got to his house, he had still refused to give away any clues. Matilda ran to greet us, and Jack shouted that
we were home, so Mae followed the dog.

  “Oh, Jack, you didn’t even give her time to get dressed?” Mae scolded him and wrapped her arms around me to shield me from the instant cold of their house.

  “She’s just gonna change anyway,” he shrugged.

  “She doesn’t need to freeze until she does!”

  She led me through the house, back towards her room, where I’d presumably get ready. Milo, who’d been in the living room, ran out to greet us. If I wasn’t mistaken, he looked even better than he did the last time that I saw him, and he was taller too. The change was still taking its full effect on him.

  “Has he told you where we’re going yet?” Milo asked.

  “No. ” I looked to Mae for help.

  “You’re going to a club,” she smiled thinly at me, and Jack scoffed behind us.

  “It’s supposed to be a surprise!” Jack complained.

  “Oh, quit, it still is,” Mae shook her head.

  “Like a dance club?” I asked.

  As far as I knew, Jack wasn’t that into dance clubs, and while I didn’t hate them, it wouldn’t really be that exciting for me to go to one.

  “I don’t know if I really approve of the idea, but Ezra’s not here to talk him out of it, so here we are,” Mae said tiredly and steered me away from the boys to her room. “Why don’t you go ahead and hop in the shower, and when you get out, we’ll pick out some clothes. ”

  I was confused, but I did as I was told. I went to the master bathroom and took a shower. They had a million shampoos and body washes, and they always made my hair and skin feel amazing afterwards.

  Wrapping myself in a fluffy robe, I opened the bedroom door to find Mae waiting. Clothes covered her bed. On closer inspection, many of them still had the tags on, and they all looked to be about my size (which had to be at least two sizes bigger than Mae).

  “Is there anything you really like?” Mae had a puzzled, serious look on her face, as if she was having trouble making an important decision.

  “Well… they all look really nice,” I said, but that was an understatement. “What exactly am I getting dressed up for? It might help me pick something out. ”

  “Well-” Mae said when the bedroom door opened, cutting her off.

  “Oh good! You’re out of the shower!” Milo burst into the room.

  Whenever I went out to something special, he helped me get ready. This wouldn’t be any different, and it would actually be kinda nice to do something normal with him. Relatively speaking.

  “Sure am. ” I eyed them both up. “Where am I going tonight?”

  “A club,” Milo replied and exchanged a look with Mae. “A vampire club!” He squealed with delight and looked far gayer than he ever had in his mortal life.

  “What?” I didn’t think I understood him right, so I looked at Mae. “What’s he talking about?”

  “A vampire club. ” Mae smiled in way that I knew that she wasn’t as keen about the idea as Milo. “We told you a little bit about them before. They’re similar to a regular bar or club, but with obvious differences. Jack frequents one off Hennepin Avenue, and I’ve been there a few times. ”

  “Obvious differences?” I asked. “Like what? Do they have a keg of blood?”

  “No, no. ” Mae laughed nervously and looked away. “Well, not exactly. They do have some kind of blood on… tap. ” If that was meant to ease my nerves, it failed. “Humans go all the time, though, and they have bouncers. People aren’t…” She sighed as she floundered for words. “They don’t harm people there. ”

 
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