“Hey Eve, last call! We are leaving now …” Evey heard from the door as her roommate was leaving.
“Have fun guys, am going to sit this one out.”
“I wish. More like procrastination biting my ass. Got a paper due tomorrow and my melon is failing big. I swear my brain is totally blank. Major panic mode!”
“Maybe you need to chill with us some to blow the cobwebs out.” some other students were already in party mode in the hallway of the dorm.
“Nah, seriously, I am staying in.”
Her roommate and the others left. Suddenly the room was very quiet.
“Man, how does ANYBODY get all that knowledge into their brains? Seriously daddy, you should have passed your nerd genes down to me.”
Evey edited her paper once more.
“Hmm, great, now it makes even less sense then before. I give up. Argh!”
She collapsed onto the keyboard when there was a knock on the door.
“GO AWAY! I just died!” she mumbled into the keyboard.
“Oh, for all that is holy!”
Evey got up and opened the door.
“Good evening Little Leigh.”
“What the heck, Heath!”
She quickly pulled him inside, looked up and down the hallway, then shut the door.
“Are you insane!? You could not be any more obviously a vampire if you had a neon sign around your neck! Are you trying to get me into trouble?”
“What a strange paragon you are, Evey. If I just enter, you are upset. If I utilize the doors, you are upset. If I stay away too long, you are upset, if I come visit you, you are upset, …”
he spoke softly, smiling, not accusatory, so Evey guessed he was teasing her.
“Yeah, real rocket science there. But wait, why are you here? Is something wrong? Is everybody okay?”
“Yes, Little Leigh. Everything is fine, just a social call.”
“Since when do you make social calls at a university?”
“I missed you. May I look around?”
“Knock yourself out. Want something to drink?”
He turned around, smiling.
“I doubt you are willing to offer what I can consume.”
“Oh … right. Pass.”
She watched him look around the dorm room. Her side only. Somehow he seemed to just know which was hers.
Was this appropriate? Probably not. Especially not since that last visit. At home. In her bedroom. Yeah, last thing she should be right now would be alone with Heath.
“Wanna go for a walk?” she tried the first thing that came to mind.
He turned to her, a puzzled look on his face.
“Right, too many students. Umm, there is a lake nearby we could meet there …”
Dumbass, Evey, you would still be alone with him. In the dark. How is that any better?! she thought.
He came over to her, gently stoking her cheek, causing her knees to almost go weak while her heart was racing.
“I dislike how you fear me now, Little Leigh. I gave you my word.”
She blushed deeply. Quick, say something. Anything!
“Well, there goes that last hope to ever be a secret spy.” she forced a laugh at her own joke. Great, add comedian to that list. FAIL! Dork much?! she thought.
“Aren’t spies always secret?” he smiled at her.
She blushed again. Wow, this could not be any more awkward if she tried.
“Wanna sit?” she smiled and sat down on her bed. At least she wouldn’t keel over once her knees gave out.
He came over and sat next to her.
On her bed.
Nicely played, idiot! In order to keep things casual you sit on your bed with him! Bed! Facepalm! she told herself in thought.
“Heath, I love that you came to see me, but I have this paper due and it already sucked my brain dry like a sponge. Really bad timing. I seriously have no time to hang with you right now.” she gave him an apologetic smile.
“I may be able to help you. In exchange would you spend the night with me?”
“Ummm …” her face got pale.
“Let me rephrase, please. I meant, spend time with me. I was not … soliciting anything inappropriate. Nighttime is my day, you know that. I merely wanted to spend time with you.”
“Okaaaaaay. I am gonna just let this go. But I am intrigued. What would you possibly know about Advanced Design Studies?”
“I am a quick study, Little Leigh.” he smiled.
“All right, Mr. Grainger, you have yourself a deal, if only because I am seriously desperate here. It’s like my brain is closed for service. Nothing going in and definitely nothing of substance coming out for that paper I have due in less then 12 hours. I am doomed!”
Heath leafed through a few of her books, then helped her with her paper.
She was too happy being able to have anything that sounded coherent to write down, she would have typed out a nursery rhyme if he dictated it to her. But what he did tell her was much better than a nursery rhyme. It made perfect sense and sounded eloquent and right on target. Phew!
Once done, barely 30 minutes after they started, she hit save and submit.
“All right, we still have several hours now till sunrise. Come with me.” he offered her his hand.
“Should I not put on something better than my staying-in-to-study outfit with inhaled-lunch-at-my-desk stains on it?”
They ended up in Windenburg at the hideout.
“I think I am going to have you pick me up for breaks instead of taking the train from now on. Quick teleport sure beats four and a half hours of being rattled around in a stale smelling box with hundreds of my closest friends like sardines in a tin. Some of them even smell like a sardine…”
“You could have all that and more, always, if you truly wanted it ….”
“Heath … let’s not open that can of worms again. You are so smart, how can you not see that it would never work?”
“OK, let’s go there. I am not one for sweeping problems under the rug and this is a big one. So … you say you love me, want to be with me. Let’s just imagine all that. Imagine there was no KC. Let’s draw out the caricature of a life you and I would have. So we get together. Obviously I cannot commute between college and your underground lair – if that is where you live these days, come to think of it, I am not even sure exactly where YOU live these days. Anyway, so you and I get together, do our relationship thing. All in secret, because you know, still super-illegal, right? Oh, and what if I ended up preggers? Possibility, right? So I live underground with you, cos then college would be pretty much out. And I would then be doing what? Stare holes in walls in the darkness? What would I eat? Oh, and then if that hypothetical pregnancy doesn’t off me, like you said it well may, we have a baby, home birth of course, which I am not going to tell you what I think about THAT right now. That baby will never meet his or her grandparents and the rest of my family. Oh wait, I would never see them again either … I mean, really Heath, do you not see that even hypothetically this is already too much of a shit show? Or do you have brilliant answers here too?”
“No. But they are working on making all that better. Negotiations between the human government and the vampire society are underway to loosen the laws regarding New Breed half-vampires and hybrids …” he attempted, but she interrupted him.
“Heath. I think you are incredibly smart and I know you can do a lot of amazing things, but no way will the government ever make mortals with New Breed vampire relationships legal. They are way too afraid that it would increase the dreaded vampire population too much and the next attempt of the New Breed vampires to take over would likely succeed. They are stringing the vampire society along. They will never go for that.”
“I am sure there is a way … somehow.”
“What you need is to find a smart, awesome vampire girl and you’d be golden. Are there any dating apps for vampires or stuff like that?”
“Let’s drop the subject. Please?”
“Why? Because you know I am right?”
“Because it does not change how I feel. It never will. There will be no other for me. Not now, not ever.”
“Good thing you are not stubborn.” her words dripped sarcasm.
“Maybe I should take you back …”
“Look at you! You know I am right. The big, bad vampire wants to stick his head in the sand … scared of the truth?”
Suddenly Heath demeanor changed as he turned angry, shouting at her without warning, he appeared extremely angry, uncontrollable, like a rabied animal, the only thing missing was him foaming at the mouth.
“You forget whom you are talking to! I am not scared of anything, Everleigh Rose! If anybody should be scared, it would be you! Do you think taunting me like this is advisable?
What keeps me from just taking what I desire? I could just take you with me now and there would be absolutely NOTHING you could do about it and nobody could save you.
Least of all KC! I could turn you right now! I could do anything I desire to you right now and you could not stop me! Nobody could.”
Abruptly he turned around and stepped away stopping several feet away from Evey, his back to her. Never before had she been afraid of him, but he had scared her now.
What to do?
Everleigh took a deep breath, then went over to him.
“Heath, I am sorry. Maybe I should not have been so blunt, but I felt you needed some wake up call. I did not mean to hurt you. But you did scare me …”
“I always told you I was a monster. Now you have seen I was right.”
“Everybody gets upset sometimes. Maybe this is how we fight. Had to happen eventually. Plus, I know you would never do any of those things to me. Not you.”
“Are you so sure? I am a vampire after all …”
“But a good one. Kind, caring …”
“There are no good New Breed vampires, Evey. No good ones, no bad ones, we are only ever vampires and nothing like Old Breed ones. Do you not see this? Do you really think that ANY New Breed vampire would ever stop and consider pros and cons of actions before taking what they want, need, crave? And I am not just one of the vampires you grew up around. I am very different from that and I was not raise to deal well with being denied anything.”
His eyes seemed sad. He was scary all right.
“OK, fine. You are right. I am at your mercy. So do with me as you wish. Rape me, abduct me, like you said, not like I could do anything about it.” she told him, her words flat and matter-of-fact, like a stock report.
He turned to her, shaking his head.
“I am truly sorry, Everleigh. My outburst was uncalled for and inexcusable. Please forgive me.”
“Sure. We’re good. Why not? Not like anything else in my life is normal these days. Let’s have a fight with a vampire and then kiss and make up under the moonlight. Totally normal. Besides, you are my ride back to college. I still have no idea where this place is, nor how to get away from here.”
“Glad to know I am of some use to you.” his smile was guilty. But it was a smile.
“Yeah, you have your moments. For one, you already saved my butt with that overdue paper. So yeah, definitely useful.” she winked, smiled and walked closer to him, gently stroking his arms.
Standing there so close to him, she wondered how all this was going to end. While once more a complicated situation had been diffused, she could not shake the feeling that this was not the end of it all and it was only building up to a crescendo.
Question was what that would look like.
Sitting in class a few days later, she didn’t realize until everybody around her got up to leave that she had missed the entire lecture while thinking about everything that had happened over the past year. And also yesterday. The shock of seeing Heath so very angry was still in her. Not keen on ever repeating that.
KC and Heath were both big parts of her life, and had been since they all were children. Both men came with big issues. KC’s seemed mostly under control, except his potty mouth and explosive temper.
Heath had always seemed like the quiet, calmly composed one. But recently she realized that was not the case. He had always told her he was dangerous and she had seen first hand that it was true. Besides, he was most definitely not to be taken lightly when upset.
He was interested in her in other ways than just as friends and if Evey was honest with herself, the writing had been on the wall for a long time. She had just blissfully ignored it, and that way possibly even encouraged it. She had let him hug her, get close to her and if she was truthful, never hated it. And now she was in the middle of something that she could not make heads and tails of, no matter how she tried. There was nobody she could ask for advice. Her parents would freak out, not a good idea in her mom’s condition. A pregnancy as late as hers was high risk already, no need to add more stress.
She definitely could not talk to KC about this. He would try to find Heath and fight with in in some jealous rage and that would not end well for him.
Her grandparents were out for various reasons. They should remain neutral for the sake of KC and Heath, since they were probably the only two supporters those two young men ever had aside from her.
Nobody else knew about Heath. Fantastic. Trying to talk to Heath about it had not gone too well for her. While she still trusted him, she was not going to do anything again that she knew would make him so angry.
Fact was, while to her he had only ever been Heath, he was a New Breed vampire and that was not to be taken lightly. There were strict laws about New Breeds in place, they were nothing like Old Breed ones she was used to. And worst of all was, that she used to have a crush on him, which had not truly changed since she fell in love with KC. She loved KC, but did not hate it when Heath held her. When did she become one of those women? Disgusting.
Another fact that had become blatantly obvious was that attempts to ignore advances by a vampire hoping it would just go away were futile at best. Unlike an annoying ex where you could just move, change your phone number or even get a restraining order. If Heath wanted to visit her, there wasn’t much she could do to stop him.
“I think I left my phone outside. Be right back!” Everleigh told her grandparents and KC, she was visiting for another long weekend and staying overnight.
When she stepped outside she saw no phone on the table. Maybe it had fallen down, as she bend down to check, she noticed a pair of legs in dark trousers. Heath.
When she straightened up, she saw him smiling as he handed her her phone.
He stepped closer and hugged her. At the moment the patio door opened and KC appeared.
“Oh good, you are back. Imagine my relief. Especially that you wasted no time to make a beeline for my girlfriend right away.”
“KC …” Everleigh begged.
“Hello KC. Good to see you as well.” Heath told him calmly.
“Yeah, right. I see you got the phone. Movie’s starting. You gonna say hi to the Camerons or just gonna stand there and stare, hoping I dissolve into thin air so you can have her?”
“I’ll visit.” Heath said, ignoring KC’s remarks.
Heath followed them into the living room, where he was received with open arms. All of them missed most of the movie talking, KC said little but was eyeing Heath with suspicion which Heath seemed to completely ignore.
When it was time to turn in, KC went to his room, Evey to hers, even though the young couple usually ended up in one room together, they did this out of respect for the grandparents. Once they were sure they were in bed, Evey would usually sneak down the long hallway to KC’s room, a sort of routine now, though everybody was aware what really went on.
When Everleigh came out of the bathroom in her room, Heath was sitting on her bed.
Awkward, part 985. Yikes.
“Hello Little Leigh” he smiled.
“Umm, Heath … I don’t think …you should leave … please.”
He got up and came to her, hugging her.
At that very moment KC entered and went from casual KC to fully aggravated in no time flat.
“What the FUCK!?” he roared.
Evey tried to slip away from Heath, who held on at first, then released her when she struggled more. Just in time for her to try to hold KC back as he tried to attack Heath.
“Wait! Please. This is harmless. I swear he is just … visiting.”
“Visiting MY girlfriend in her BEDROOM? Oh hell no! I have had it with you. Things were never better than when you were gone! Had to come back and try take what is not yours to take! Evey is off limits for you. Get the fuck out of her room. Get out of her life! Better yet, Evey, you are coming with me!”
KC grabbed her hand and begun dragging her towards the door when Heath stepped into his path.
“Oh, you are asking for it! Begging!”
“Oh yeah, he is going to leave here limping!”
“… lay a hand on me again and you will not leave here ever again!” Heath threatened, his eyes narrowed as he slapped KC’s hands off himself hard, ready to do more.
“HEATH!” Evey begged.
The door was pushed open and Everleigh’s grandfather entered.
“What in the world is that ruckus all …. why is everybody in here? What is going on?”
“Heath is about to get his face rearranged!”
“I think not!”
“Boys! Enough. This is my home, not a cheap bar. Show me some respect, please!”
“I am sick and tired of him hanging around my girlfriend. Let me repeat that MY GIRLFRIEND! Like a vulture circling over my head!”
“KC. Come on now…” Liam sighed.
“I come in here and find HIM hugging it out with her! Seriously Mr. C, what would you do if you were me?!”
“Heath didn’t mean to…” Everleigh objected, but was cut off when KC now addressed her
“And why did you not kick him the heck out anyway instead of snuggling him!? I should have entered here seeing you slap him or kick him in the jewels, not almost make out with him! Also sick and tired of THAT! Was I demoted again, because he is back now?!”
“KC, you are not being fair…” Evey protested.
“Not fair? That’s rich coming from you after all this!”
“He just showed up! What would you have me do?” Everleigh argued.
“For starters, tell him to leave! If he doesn’t, any of the options I mentioned before would do nicely!”
“I did tell him to go!”
“Then put fucking garlic up in every nook and cranny so that he gets it! And wear some around your neck so he remembers to stay the fuck away or burns his fingers and other body parts if he forgets!” the last part was addressed directly at Heath, both young men measuring each other up.
“Son, enough with the temper and that language. Heath, you know he is right.” Liam now said.
Heath still said nothing, just looked at Everleigh, before he spoke
“You still think that he is the right choice for you?”
After that he turned, walked out the door and vanished.
KC punched a wall, was reprimanded by Liam, then left, shortly after the door to his room was slammed shut hard and loud.
“Grandpa, I didn’t do a thing.”
“Seriously, you too? What would you have me do? Turn all Buffy the vampire slayer on Heath or something?”
“At least tell him that he is overstepping boundaries.”
“I have told him. He just keeps showing up.”
“Wait, so you have known he is back before today?”
“Yes, he came to see me some weeks ago. I figured it would be best to wait till he is ready to share with you guys on his own accord. He just keeps getting more and more … pushy.”
“Umm .. I think he wants more than just friendship … no worries. He and I had a talk. He gets it now. I think.”
“Everleigh, be careful. I have never known any vampire to be too patient if they really wanted something bad enough. This may be hard, but it may be time to cut ties with him. For your and all our sakes. And after what happened tonight, I do not think he got the memo. Not at all. And it is about high time for you to realize that you are gambling high here on several fronts. This is not a playground fight. This is risky. You have to sort this out and do so quit!”
Everleigh shut her eyes.
It sounded logical but could she really do that? Abandon Heath.
After all those years?