Craved (Book #2 of the Vampire Legacy) (6 page)

BOOK: Craved (Book #2 of the Vampire Legacy)
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CHAPTER EIGHT

 
 

Scarlet opened her eyes to see her mom looking down on her. She blinked several times, as she slowly came into focus. Her mom looked down in concern. On her other side her dad stood over her, too, also looking down with concern.

Scarlet looked around and realized she was lying in her bed, in her bedroom. She glanced out the window, and saw it was night, and looked over, and saw her clock blinked 9 PM. She wondered how she got here. She tried to piece it all together, but it was hazy. It freaked her out that her parents were in here. What were they doing here, in her bedroom, looking at her like that?

“Scarlet, are you okay honey?” her mom asked with concern.

Scarlet checked in with her body and realized she felt totally fine. She just couldn’t figure out how she got here.

Scarlet sat up in bed.

“What happened?”

“Do you remember?” her mom asked. “The church?”

Church
. Scarlet thought back, and started to remember. She recalled going to church with her mom, talking to that priest. She remembered the candles blowing out…remembered him talking about her necklace…and then….

Her mind went blank.

“What happened?” she asked.

Her mom looked down, as if debating how to phrase it.

“Well…” she began. “You passed out. And I carried you home, and put you to bed. That was three hours ago.”

“Hi sweetheart,” her dad chimed in, holding her hand. “I’m so glad to see you’re doing okay.”

Scarlet tried to remember passing out, but couldn’t.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “Maybe I had like low blood sugar or something. I’ve never fainted before.”

“Did you skip lunch?” her dad asked.

Scarlet thought back. Yes, she had.

“Actually, I did. And breakfast, too…. It was a stressful day, and I kind of forgot.”

“Well, then that explains it,” her dad said, sounding confident and assured, as if ready to put this whole thing to rest. “You just needed to eat. Being in church probably stressed you out, and you fainted. No big deal. I’m glad you’re okay now.”

“Wait a minute,” her mom said. “That’s not all that happened.”

“Why can’t you just let things lie?” he snapped at her. “You’re blowing this whole thing up to be more—”

“Guys, I’m right here,” Scarlet snapped at them both, tired of their arguing. “I’m totally fine. Seriously. There’s like nothing to worry about. I blacked out. I’m sorry. I guess I didn’t eat or whatever.”

Scarlet couldn’t take their fighting anymore; she couldn’t stand being around them. They both looked at her, momentarily silenced.

“Can we talk in private?” her dad asked her mom, sternly.

The two of them quickly shuffled out of the room, closing the door behind them, and immediately, Scarlet could hear the muffled sound of their arguing.

She held her hands to her ears and sighed. She hated it. Why did they have to argue all the time now? She couldn’t help but feel as if it all had something to do with her, and it made her feel even worse.

She heard a loud buzzing and looked over and saw her phone light up on her nightstand table. She picked it up: a text from Maria.

Sorry was upset. Ur right. You didn’t do anything. I guess I blew it out of proportion. Anyway, friends?

Scarlet smiled, feeling vindicated. Finally, something went right today. She typed:

Friends.

Her phone lit up immediately with another text from Maria:

Pre-game tonight?

Scarlet thought for a moment, not knowing what to say:

Not sure am up to it.

A part of her just wanted to curl up and go to sleep and forget this entire day. But another part of her actually liked the idea of getting out of the house, making up with Maria, distracting herself from this whole awful day.

Please. U have to come. need a wing man. I heard Sage will be there. this is my chance. and Blake will be there and heard he’s in a fight with Vivian. Now is your chance.

 

The thought of entering that party, with Sage and Blake and Maria there—and Vivian and her friends there—put a pit in her stomach. But at the same time, she really wanted to reconcile with Maria and get out of the house. And despite herself, the thought of seeing Sage gave her a thrill.

Not sure.

Please. I’ll be like the only single girl there. Need you.

Scarlet sighed. She thought hard. If she didn’t go to the big dance tomorrow night—and it looked like she wasn’t going—then at least she could have this night.

My parents would kill me
, she texted back, already anticipating their reaction.

She waited a second, wondering if she should ask them. Of course not. Of course they would say no—especially after today. They were such worrywarts to begin with; they would never allow this.

But the more she thought about it, the more she realized: she really did want to go. In the back of her mind, she was hoping something might happen with Blake, or Sage. She was so confused, she wasn’t even sure which one. But she wanted something to happen. She was tired of being alone.

Her phone lit up, and her heart fluttered as she read Maria’s new text:

Sneak out.

Scarlet recoiled. She had never snuck out before.

But as she began to think about it, she actually started to wonder if it was a good idea. Why not? If she snuck out the window and got back in time, they’d never even know. She wasn’t going to stay long anyway, and it was only a few blocks away.

Scarlet jumped up out of bed, Ruth tagging along, feeling a burst of energy and a fresh determination. She went to her door, opened it, let Ruth out, and listened. She could hear her parents arguing faintly, down the steps on the first floor. She made a decision. She stepped out into the hall and leaned over the bannister and screamed:

“I’m tired! I’m going to bed! Good night!”

She then slammed her door extra loud and locked it, not waiting for a response, hoping they wouldn’t come and check on her.

She hurried through her room, refreshed her lipstick, brushed her hair, threw on fresh jeans, a light black sweater and a leather jacket, and turned off all the lights.

Then she crossed the room, opened her window, and slipped out onto the terrace. From there, it would be an easy climb down—she’d done it a million times.

Suddenly, she heard a banging on her bedroom door.

“Scarlet, open this door!” came the harsh voice. It was her dad.

One leg out the window, she hesitated, wondering if she should go back inside.

But as she stood there, debating, the fresh air felt good, and she really wanted to get away from all this. She realized she needed to change her environment; she couldn’t stay in this house a minute longer.

She stepped out, closed the window behind her, and climbed down the trellis. In moments, she was in her backyard, trotting away, across their yard, across the street, and beginning her ten block walk to the party.

*

As Scarlet turned the corner, she was struck by all the activity on Jake’s block, and in front of his house. All the other streets around here were dead quiet, with not a sign of life—but in stark contrast was Jake’s block, lined with parked cars. His house was entirely lit up, every light on in every room on every floor, and dozens of kids on the front and back lawns, holding cups of beer and wine coolers. Music was blasting so loud that she could hear it even from here, a block away, along with the hum of conversation, shouts, laughter and partying.

There must be at least two hundred kids in that house
, Scarlet thought.

She wondered how Jake was going to possibly clean all this up before his parents got home—and marveled that none of the neighbors in this super-quiet village had called the cops yet. She figured it was only a matter of time until they did.

Scarlet walked quickly, hugging her thin, fall coat tightly around her shoulders against the breeze as she approached. As she got closer and some kids looked in her direction, she felt a flutter in her stomach. There was so much drama behind those walls, it was kind of like going back to school all over again, except at night—and in a much more contained way.

As she reached the front walkway, she spotted Maria, standing there, arms wrapped around her shoulders trying to warm herself up, and waving Scarlet down with her cell. Her face lit up at the site of her.


There
you are!” she said, hurrying over to her, wrapping one arm around hers tightly and turning her, leading her up the walkway, side by side. “I’ve been waiting forever!”

“Why didn’t you just go inside?” Scarlet asked.

“Are you kidding? Not so cool, to enter alone.”

“Where are Jasmin and Becca?”

“Jasmin left already. Her boyfriend had other plans. Becca’s inside, but she’s with Jake.”

The two of them walked past tons of kids, cups of beer in hand, several of them smoking; Scarlet watched one of them put his butt out, still smoking, into the hedges beside the house. She shook her head, hoping this house didn’t catch on fire. As they walked past them, one of them blew smoke her way, and she could feel it seeping into her hair and clothes.
Great
, she thought.
Now her parents would smell it on her.

They walked through the open door into the brightly-lit house, and inside, the activity hit Scarlet like a tidal wave. The music was cranking, the bass shaking the floors, and the rooms were packed shoulder to shoulder with kids dancing, laughing, singing, drinking from large red plastic cups, and spilling beer everywhere. She looked over and saw a small keg in the corner, and three of her classmates standing behind it, baseball caps turned backwards, filling rows of cups. The foam spilled out over the floor, onto the carpet, and no one seemed to care. The house already smelled like a frat party.

Lots of girls in her class held wine coolers, sipping from them; other girls held different cups, and Scarlet spotted them pouring from a small flask into cups of orange juice or lemonade. She could not believe how hard everyone was partying on a weeknight. Then again, the big dance was tomorrow, and under the watchful eyes of all the teachers, it wouldn’t be as easy to get away with things. This, the pre-game, was the real party.

“Come on!” Maria shouted over the music as she dragged her through room after room, and back into the kitchen area. “The wine coolers are back here.”

The kitchen was far less crowded, with room to walk, and the music was more muted here, too. Scarlet followed Maria to a large metal bucket filled with ice, wine coolers floating inside. Maria reached down and grabbed two of them, not even asking Scarlet as she twisted opened hers and handed her one.

“Cheers,” she said.

Scarlet hesitated; she rarely drank, and really didn’t want to drink now. If her parents caught her sneaking back home, that would be bad enough; if they smelled alcohol on her, that would be the end of it.

But then again, Scarlet didn’t want to seem like a pilgrim; so she figured she’d accept it, take a sip, then when no one was looking, set it down somewhere.

“Cheers,” she said, clinking glasses and taking a sip; it went right to her head.

BOOK: Craved (Book #2 of the Vampire Legacy)
8.57Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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