Home > Dance with a Vampire (Vampire Kisses #4)(8)

Dance with a Vampire (Vampire Kisses #4)(8)
Author: Ellen Schreiber

Chapter 5 Treehouse

The next morning, Dullsville High's hallways were decorated with posters for the upcoming prom. VIVA LAS VALENTINES signs with red, pink, and white hearts filled the walls and classroom doorways.

I shoved textbooks into my locker as Becky began to tack up passport-sized arcade booth pictures of her and Matt.

"We took these Saturday night at the movie theater. Aren't they cool?"

I stared at the four poses--one with Matt's arm around Becky, one with them blinking, one where he was kissing her on the cheek, and the last with a Teen magazine smile--all of them reflecting a couple in love. I gazed at my locker--tacked with magazine clippings of Trent Reznor, Marilyn Manson, Ville Valo...and vacant of the one guy who meant the most to me.

"I figured by now you'd have a shrine to Alexander," Becky commented.

"I did, too," I admitted. That was before I knew he was a vampire, I wanted to say. "He's actually quite shy around the camera."

"No way. He's so handsome, he could be a model."

I glanced at my best friend, whose normally cherubic fresh face glowed more than ever. Always quiet and mousy, she was gaining confidence now that she'd been dating Matt.

I'd always blabbed my secrets to Becky. I was bursting to tell her the truth about Alexander--why I didn't have a picture shrine, why Alexander didn't attend Dullsville High, and why he was seen only at night. Carrying this secret around was a heavier burden than a backpack full of textbooks.

Becky was so happy with her boyfriend--taking pictures together, renting movies, watching him play soccer. I'd always craved more--to fly, to live in the darkness, to be eternally bonded to my soul mate. But at that moment, I realized I wanted to be like any girl who was lucky enough to be in love and hang her boyfriend's picture in her locker.

"Do you have your prom dress?" Becky asked, bringing me back to reality.


"I can't believe it. We have dates to prom!"


"Aren't you going?" she asked, confused. "It's just that..."

"You haven't asked Alexander yet?" she guessed. "It's next weekend."

"Of course I asked him," I stumbled. "He said he wouldn't miss it for the world."

She smiled with relief. "Yesterday, my mother and I picked out a dress and put it on hold. We're picking it up after school. Want to come?"

"I'd love to, but I have to meet Alexander and my brother. It's a long story..."

"Oh, that's okay," she said, trying to cover up her disappointment. "Perhaps another time."

"But I can't wait to see your dress. I know you'll look fabulous in it."

She beamed like I'd told her she won a beauty pageant. "What does your dress look like," she asked, "besides black?"

"Dress? Oh, yeah. I guess I'll have to get one," I said, just as first bell rang. "But where in Dullsville am I going to find a dress?"

Alexander and I arrived at Henry's house to find his backyard vacant of any preteens, vampire or otherwise.

"Hurry, let's check the treehouse before my brother and Henry show up."

We walked past the pool, lounge chairs, and gazebo, which were illuminated by the backyard house lights, and crept into the shadows where the treehouse was. I hung on to Alexander's silver bullet belt and followed him through the darkness. I remained at the foot of the tree as Alexander combed the grass and brush.

"Wait here," he said, reaching for the ladder.

I folded my arms like a toddler. "You mean you're going to leave me here alone?"

Alexander shook his head. "Good point. Stay close and be careful."

He extended his hand and guided me as I took my first step up the ladder in the darkness.

Alexander followed closely behind me. When we reached the deck, I headed for the treehouse door, only to find as many locks on it as a New York apartment.

"Maybe there's a chimney I can climb down," I said, frustrated.

Alexander attempted to jimmy the door. I tried to peek inside the windows, but the curtains were drawn.

"It'll just take me a second," he said confidently. "Then I'll open the door for you from inside," Alexander suggested.

Suddenly we heard the sound of the nerd-mates coming from Henry's poolside.

"We'll have to wait now," Alexander instructed. He leaned on the treehouse railing, staring out into the backyard, while I mustered up enough courage to bring up the one thing I'd repressed since he'd picked me up.

I didn't have much time. The nerd-mates' voices were getting closer.

"I have to ask you something...," I began. "Yes?" He gazed at me with his melting chocolate eyes, his silky black hair flopping in his face.

I took a deep breath. I had no problem searching for ghosts or picnicking in a graveyard, but when it came to laying out my heart, my bravado ceased. And even though Alexander and I'd been dating for a few months, I felt I had more to lose than if I'd just met him.

"It's something I know you'll think is totally lame. Especially after we already went to the Snow Ball and that was a disaster."

"Don't say that. I got to dance with you."

The only good memory of that night was Alexander and me clubbing it up in Dullsville's gymnasium--plastic icicles and snowflakes hanging from the ceiling, fake powdery snow covering the floor, while artificial snow softly sprinkled down from the rafters.

"So what do you want to ask me?" he continued.

"I want to know..."


"If you'll go with me..."

"Spit it out."

"...to prom."

Alexander paused, his brow furrowed. Then he brushed his flopping hair away from his face. His silence was punctuated by chirping crickets. It seemed like they were waiting for his answer as much as I was. "But you're only a sophomore," he stated, confused.

I'd fantasized about him responding yes, I'd imagined him saying no. I didn't envision this.

"Everyone in high school can attend," I told him. "Lucky me. Instead of not being asked for two years, I can not be asked for four." "No one invited you?" he asked, shocked, then clearly relieved. "Good, because if some dude stole you away," he said with a grin, "I'd have way more bite than Jagger and Valentine combined."

I shook my head. "You don't want to go, just say it!" I turned away from him.

Alexander gently pulled me back toward him. "I thought I'd said yes."

"But you didn't." I frowned.

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