Fate / Page 45

Page 45


Despite her reluctance, she agreed to meet us there. We waited outside the club for her, since she probably couldn’t get in without Milo. I didn’t have a fake ID, but I doubted that any doorman could withstand Milo. What I’ve found out from my time with Jack is that when someone’s really attractive, they can get away with anything.

We stood in the parking lot off to the side the club. It cost $25 to park but he had an expense account now, so what did Milo care?

Several very attractive young men (and lots of not-so-attractive men) smiled at Milo appreciatively when they walked past on the way to the Saloon. He noticed and blushed.

Jack’s obliviousness irritated me. In some way, it should be sweet and romantic that he didn’t notice anybody but me, but it wasn’t. Because I always noticed everyone else, and I wished he’d tell them all to back off because he’s with me.

Jane showed up fifteen minutes late. I sat on the metal guardrail, playing my part as Milo’s invisible sidekick. I chewed gum to see how big of a bubble I could blow, and I wouldn’t have noticed Jane if it wasn’t for the clack of her heels.

“Milo!” Jane exclaimed breathlessly.

I popped the bubble so I could see her. She’d literally stopped in the middle of the road to gape at my brother. She shook her head and blinked, and Milo laughed in embarrassment.

“Jane, maybe you ought to get out of the road,” I said as a taxi whizzed around the corner towards her. She didn’t move until it honked its horn, and then she flicked it off and sauntered over to us.

“Milo Bonham, as I live and breathe,” Jane smiled at him, and I wondered who talks like that? “My, you’ve grown up.”

“Are you channeling a 50’s starlet or something?” I asked, in reference to her new way of flirting.

“Hardly.” Jane did this horrible flirty laugh, and I rolled my eyes. “I just can’t believe it’s really you.”

“I had a growth spurt,” Milo said sheepishly.

He grew four inches in a matter of weeks, his skin changed into porcelain, and he aged from a little boy with baby fat to a Calvin Klein model. But yeah, a growth spurt would sum that all up.

“Yeah, a growth spurt,” I chimed in when Jane just kept staring at him.

“Mmm,” Jane purred in some kind of agreement. “I just wish somebody had told me.”

“He’s still sixteen, Jane,” I said.

As Milo said, he was a whole different kind of sixteen now, but despite all his fancy new trappings, he’s still my little brother. My naive innocent little brother, who didn’t need Jane slut eyeing him up like that. It wasn’t her fault she felt so attracted to him, but it still creeped me out. A lot.

“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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