Home > Dance with a Vampire (Vampire Kisses #4)(2)

Dance with a Vampire (Vampire Kisses #4)(2)
Author: Ellen Schreiber

"We need to leave," he said.

"I know."

I imagined my life with Alexander, his easel in one corner, my dresser adorned with Hello Batty figures in another. At night we'd wander the cemetery, hand in hand. We'd watch Halloween on his big-screen TV and follow specters in the hallways of his horribly desolate creaky Mansion.

Alexander extended his hand. I reluctantly let him lead me away from my dream world. We walked through the candlelit Mansion, past the huge rooms with sky-high ceilings, the wind whispering through the corridor.

At the foot of the red-carpeted grand staircase we greeted Alexander's butler, Jameson, who looked especially creepy today in his vintage black suit. He must have been staying out with his new girlfriend, my former boss Ruby White. His eyes were extra buggy, but his ghost white face blushed red when he spoke.

"Good evening, Miss Raven," he said softly in his Romanian accent.

"Hello, Jameson."

"I'll have dinner for you in a few moments," the creepy man said.

"I appreciate it, Jameson, but we don't have time for that now," Alexander commented, like Batman to his butler, Alfred.

I felt a pang of loneliness for Jameson--he would have to eat alone in the Mansion.

Jameson looked relieved, though, and as we gathered our jackets, I could hear him on the telephone. "Miss Ruby? I'm available for dinner earlier than I thought...Wonderful. Yes, I would be grateful if you could pick me up here. I love a woman in charge," he teased. I felt like we were traveling cross-country as Alexander drove us in Jameson's Mercedes down the twisty, winding, desolate roads away from Benson Hill to the immaculately manicured streets of my suburban neighborhood.

Anxious to find Billy Boy, I raced up the front steps and fumbled with my collection of keys--a house key, one front and one back door, a file drawer key, a diary key, and a few that I couldn't recall what they unlocked. All were attached to several key chains-- an Olivia Outcast figure, a Hello Batty stuffie, and a plastic Donnie Darko picture.

My hands shook as I tried to find the right one.

Alexander calmly placed his hand on mine, his black plastic spider ring catching the moonlight, and took the faux barbed-wire key ring from me.

He quickly picked out my house key and put it in the lock.

Within a moment, we were inside.

"Billy Boy?" I called from the bottom of the stairs.

There was no answer. Not even a "Go away."

I turned to Alexander. He looked worried.

I flew up the beige-carpeted stairs and headed toward Billy Boy's room. A haphazardly painted sign with red-and-black letters hung on his closed door. "NO GHOULS ALLOWED. THAT MEANS YOU, RAVEN!"

I snarled and threw open the door.

"We need to talk," I warned.

Everything--desk, computer, computer games, sports posters, unmade bed--was in place in my brother's bedroom. Except him. I searched the bathroom and the neatly kept guest room, but no pesky sibling.

I bounced down the stairs to find the front door opening.

"Billy Boy?" I asked.

Instead, it was my mother, wearing a mauve Ralph Lauren sweater and gray pants, coming into the hallway.

"Well, hello, Alexander," she said, her eyes twinkling. "It's great to see you."

Alexander was always shy around my parents. "Hello, Mrs. Madison," Alexander replied, flipping his hair back nervously.

"I've told you, you can call me Sarah," she said with an almost schoolgirl giggle.

I rolled my black-eye-shadowed eyes. I wasn't sure if my mother was happy that someone in Dullsville, much less the world, would accept me or if it was Alexander's mesmerizing chocolate eyes that were making her giddy. Or maybe she was having vivid flashbacks from her hippie days.

There wasn't enough time or therapy to figure it out.

"I'm so glad you both are here," she said sweetly. "I just called you at Alexander's--"

"Is Billy coming home soon?" I interrupted.

"No, that's why I thought it would be a great opportunity for us to have dinner together. Just the four of us."

I sighed. Finally, after all these years of nagging me about the way I dressed, my mother was treating me like a young adult. Unfortunately for me, I couldn't revel in my chance to be indoctrinated into the circle of parental acceptance. I had other things on my mind. "I have to talk to Billy Boy."

"He's at Math Club," she said, grabbing a gray vest from the hall closet. "They rented out the library for the year-end party."

"I have to tell him something," I said.

"We have reservations at Francois' Bistro. Your father had to stop by the office and is meeting us there."

"Francois'?" Even though conservative Dullsville was as small as a golf hole, Francois' was on the opposite side of town, miles away from the library.

"How about the Cricket Club?" I recommended, suggesting a restaurant closer to Billy's location.

"You want to go to the Cricket Club?" she asked. "I didn't think you liked that restaurant."

"What's not to like? It's popular and fun," I said convincingly.

"That's exactly the reason I thought you detested it."

I bit my black lip.

"I'll call your father from the car. I think he has the restaurant on speed dial," she said as she grabbed her car keys and led us out the front door.

Chapter 2 Vampire Feast

Like an uninspired artist's brushstroke across a landscape that screams of boredom and unoriginality, so is the typical American strip mall. Dullsville's was no exception, inhabited by an overpriced furniture showroom, a swank shoe outlet, a scrapbooking store, and the same women's clothing shops that populated every other strip mall. Scattered in the middle of the parking lot full of SUVs were several chain restaurants with insufferably long waiting lists, buzzing pagers, and portions the size of Montana.

The Cricket Club, an English pub on steroids, specialized in food and beverages from across the pond. On the dark, overly shellacked wooden walls hung framed pictures of vintage cricket matches and other memorabilia, including authentic jerseys, scorecards, and trophies.

Alexander and I entered the restaurant dressed as usual--or, in our case, unusual--me in my combat boots, pleated rayon skirt, and tri-layered Morbid Monkey tank tops, and Alexander in studded black cargo pants and a Mindfreak T-shirt. Naturally, we got stares from the preppy patrons, as if we had arrived at a cocktail party without an invitation.

My dad was standing at the bar in a white oxford shirt and khakis, his tie loosened, with a soda in one hand. He closed out his tab and came over to us.

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Sinclairs series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
» This Man series
» One Night series
» Fixed series
Most Popular
» A Thousand Letters
» Wasted Words
» My Not So Perfect Life
» Caraval (Caraval #1)
» The Sun Is Also a Star
» Everything, Everything
» Devil in Spring (The Ravenels #3)
» Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels #2)
» Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels #1)
» Norse Mythology