"It was a blast! I bought you this," I said, and handed Becky a package as we sat on the Evans Park swings.
She opened a Hello Kitty journal. "Cool. Thanks!"
"They have the best stores ever! And I went to a place called the Coffin Club. I met this weird guy."
"Really? Matt and I just went to the movies."
"If I tell you a secret, a super-duper colossal secret, do you promise not to tell anyone?"
"Can I tell Matt?" she asked eagerly.
Matt, Matt, Matt--who cared about Matt when I was bursting to tell her about my encounter with Jagger and the truth about Alexander.
"Why are we talking about Matt when I have the biggest news of a lifetime?"
"Well, you always talk about Alexander," she barked back. Her porcelain cheeks flushed ruby red. "And I listen to you all the time. Just 'cause you went away and had exciting things happen doesn't mean I didn't, too."
I was surprised by Becky's outburst. It had been only a few days since she had hooked up with Matt, but if she felt for him half of what I felt for Alexander, I'd have to understand her intensity. Becky had always been so mousy. Now that she had her own beau, she had become more confident. Our relationship had changed. We had never had anyone before but each other.
"Fine," I said, reluctantly. "You're right. I'm glad you are going out with Matt. Someone as awesome as you should have an awesome boyfriend."
"Thanks, Raven. Now, what were you going to tell me?"
I paused, debating if she could handle the vampirey info.
"Is Matt going to show up here again?"
She nodded. "He's right behind you."
I guess I had my answer.
"So, Monster Girl, how's Monster Boy?" a male voice called as I left the park. I glanced around to find Trevor in his red-and-white soccer uniform.
"I thought I was done with you. Are you always going to be in my face?" I asked.
"As long as you wear black I will be. Have you two made any Monster Babies yet?" he asked.
"No, but when we do, I'll be sure to name one after you."
I walked away, and Trevor continued to follow.
"How do you do it? Play soccer, spend your daddy's money, and annoy people, all at the same time?" I asked.
"I could do more than annoy you, if you'd let me," he said, coyly fixing his green eyes on me. "So that line isn't working on the cheerleaders anymore?"
If Trevor had ever truly bothered me before, he was now just a pest given what I'd recently been through.
"I still think there's something fishy going on in that mansion," he said, unrelenting.
"Give it a rest."
"Don't you think it's strange that Alexander's never seen during the day?"
"I wish you weren't seen during the day. Besides, he's homeschooled."
"My mom told me she spotted that freaky butler man hanging out at the butcher."
"Yeah. That is strange. The butler eats food. Who knew?"
"He requested 'the freshest, bloodiest meat you have.' "
"Would you prefer they drink your blood?" I teased.
He looked at me in shock.
"Get a life," I said. "Maybe your mom should be paying attention to you more and gossiping less."
"You leave my mother--"
"I really don't have time for you or your mother anymore. Maybe it's time you get a new best friend," I said, and walked away.
Chapter 15 Nightmare
Impatient, I arrived at the Mansion before sunset. Jameson's Mercedes was once again parked in the driveway.
I sat on the uneven front steps, picking at the dandelions and weeds growing between the cracking cement. The door slowly creaked open.
Jameson greeted me.
"I'm so glad you're back," I said, squeezing his bony frame.
"I am, too, Miss Raven. I missed the Mansion and our favorite guest."
"I missed you, too. And I know one fabulous lady who was bummed that you were gone..."
"Miss Ruby?" he asked, his eyes coming alive.
"Are you going to call her?" I asked.
"After what I've done? I couldn't."
"You have to! Besides, it wasn't your fault. Just tell her you were unexpectedly called out of town."
"She'd never forgive me. And she shouldn't."
"Ruby loved the flowers. Besides, there's a carnival this weekend. She'll need a date. And you'll need one, too."
I could see Jameson pondering the decision, excited about seeing Ruby again, but unsure if he could muster the courage to call her.
Alexander bounced down the grand staircase, wearing black jeans and a black HIM T-shirt. He gave me a long hello kiss. "That was sweet of you to come by last night," I said, in his arms.
"I didn't come by," he said, confused.
"You didn't? I saw a guy in my backyard."
Alexander looked worried.
"I bet it was Trevor," I guessed. "I saw him after school. I think he still blames me for his plummeting popularity."
"If you need me to talk to him, I will."
I'd always defended myself from Trevor. It was refreshing to finally have someone who would stand up for me. "You are my superhero!" I exclaimed, and gave him a hug.
"I found this really cool place."
"Cool place? In Dullsville?"
He grabbed my hand and led me out of the Mansion and down the street.
"It's so ironic that the rumors Trevor started turned out to be true," I said to my vampire boyfriend.
"About me, or you?" he teased.
"I mean, I thought you were...then I didn't. But then I did. And then when I totally didn't again, I found out you were."
"Now I'm confused. Am I? Or am I not?"
"That is the question." I squeezed his hand.
"I just don't want to lose you or put you in danger."
"I love danger." When we passed Dullsville's cemetery, I wondered where we were going.
"Just a little bit farther," he assured me.
I would walk to China if Alexander were by my side. I had so many questions burning inside me, I didn't know which to ask first.
"Did you grow up with Jagger?"
"Our families were close when we were born. I think he was jealous of Luna. With her living as a human, he knew what he was missing--school, sports, friends. He is scrawny, but I think he really dreamed of being a jock like Trevor. I kind of feel sorry for him. He wasn't able to find something he enjoyed, besides revenge. But then my family traveled. My parents were bohemians, and we really never fit in with our kind. We were what was known as vampire vegetarians."