Flutter / Page 26

Page 26


The last time we had gone to the vampire club, I had been introduced to a pair of vampires, Lucian and Violet, who became intent on capturing me. Peter took care of Lucian, but she had gotten away. Violet seemed less interested in pursuing me, but like her boyfriend, she had been a caricature of vampirism. Her hair had been dyed purple, her eyeliner was thick black, and she capped her teeth to make them more pronounced fangs.

“What?” Jack asked, watching me search the dance floor.

“I don’t know.” I shook my head. I had been positive I had heard Violet’s distinct laugh, but I couldn’t see her anywhere.

I was just about to give up looking when a girl at the bar caught my attention. Her blond hair hung down her back, shimmering like silk under the blue lights. She tilted her head back, laughing at something a drunk guy said to her, and I shivered. That was Violet’s laugh.

Absently, she looked back over her shoulder, her odd purple eyes landing on mine, and they flickered with frightened recognition. She traded in the thick black eyeliner for something subtler, making her prettier and younger, more innocent. Turning into a vampire made her look around nineteen or twenty, but something in her eyes led me to believe she was younger than that.

“Violet?” I said, but she instantly looked away, shielding her face with her hair.

“You know her?” Jack was at my side, looking at her quizzically. He had only met her very briefly when she looked much different, so he didn’t recognize her.

“I think that’s Violet.” I walked towards her, but Jack put his hand on my arm.

“Wait, wait. That’s the girl that was stalking you before? Why are you going to talk to her? Are you gonna…” His face darkened. “What are you gonna do?”

“I don’t know. I wanna talk to her.” I shook my head, unable to explain myself.

“What’s going on?” Milo asked. He stood in the doorway, his arm around his boyfriend. He hadn’t seen Violet, and that was for the best. He would take running into her much worse than I would.

“I’ll be right back,” I said and hurried over to Violet before she hid or escaped. Jack was right behind me, but he didn’t try to stop me.

The drunk guy talking to her was mid-sentence, and she stood up without explanation. I know I should’ve felt angry. She had almost gotten me, Milo, and Jane killed, but I wasn’t out for revenge. I just wanted to talk to her.

“Hey. Violet.” I blocked her path, and she looked at me with wide eyes. All of her former cockiness was long gone, and that probably had to do with the death of her boyfriend.

“I don’t know what you want but…” She trailed off, her eyes flicking from me to Jack. “I don’t want any trouble.”

“Neither do I.” I glanced back at Jack to make sure he wasn’t glaring at her or anything. Jack had such an open face, it was pretty hard for him to look threatening unless he was really pissed off.

“What do you want then?” Violet tried to look strong and angry, but without the confidence behind it, she just looked like a whiny child.

“I don’t know.” I chewed my lip. “Before, when you were chasing after me, what did you want?”

“I didn’t want anything with you,” Violet said. “I mean, at first, I went after you as a joke because you were so tasty…” She lowered her eyes. “But Lucian, he wouldn’t let it go. I think he liked the idea of stealing you from another vampire.”

“Well, now he’s gone and she’s a vampire, so that’s settled then,” Jack interjected with a clumsy smile.

“How old are you?” I asked, ignoring Jack.

“I don’t know why that matters,” Violet said, but she looked flustered. “I was fourteen when I turned, and that was like two years ago.

“Look, it wasn’t my idea.” A strand of blond hair fell into her eyes, and she looked at me, as if daring me to defy her. “Not going after you, not turning into a vampire. It was all Lucian. He thought this was all some great big fantasy, and he had somebody turn him, and then stupidly, I had him turn me.

“But he’s dead. And I’m over it. So…” Blinking hard, she tried to keep me from noticing the tears in her eyes. “Are we through?”

“Yeah. Sure,” I nodded, unable to think of a reason to keep her talking to me.

Violet brushed past me, disappearing into the dance floor. Even after everything she had put me through, I felt this strange sadness for her. To be so powerful and young, and yet so confused and alone. She had been a dumb kid playing around with Hot Topic makeup and got in way over her head.

“You okay?” Jack touched my arm.

“Yeah.” I remembered we weren’t here to check up on my enemies. Jane was here somewhere, probably losing blood as we spoke. “Sorry. Let’s go.”

“Who was that girl you were talking to?” Milo asked when reached them, and Bobby craned his neck around to see.

“Nobody. Where’s Jane?” I asked.

“I haven’t seen her yet, but we’ve just been waiting here.” Milo gave me an irritated look, so I pushed past him into the adjoining room.

The light above glowed dull red, the kind of lighting that was most pleasing to vampires’ eyes. This room was smaller than the last and dressed more like a coffee shop than a club. Soft couches filled the room, and a small bar in a dark corner served drinks, but only ones of the type AB variety.

A lot of doors and darkened hallways led out of it, and while I had never been in one of the rooms, I knew exactly what they were for. Some vampires required more privacy when they were with the bloodwhores, while others were camped out on the couch, drinking openly from their human donors.

With one quick scan of the room, I knew Jane wasn’t there. Her heart and her scent were almost as familiar to me as Jack and Milo’s, and they were nowhere in this room. I turned back to Milo, and he had come to the same conclusion.

“She was here before,” Milo said.

“She was with a guy,” Bobby added.

Jack walked around to look more closely, in case we missed something. I had taken too long getting ready or staring at the people outside or randomly talking to Violet. I had been wasting time when I should’ve been tracking down Jane. I still had her phone number, but she hadn’t answered my calls since I turned into a vampire.

“Alice! He finally did it!” a voice purred, and a vampire got up off the couch and walked over to me. She left a girl discarded on the couch behind her, a thin trail of blood drying on her neck, and she moaned softly, reaching out in the empty space where Olivia had been.

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