Craved (Book #2 of the Vampire Legacy) (7 page)

BOOK: Craved (Book #2 of the Vampire Legacy)
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“I don’t see him anywhere,” Maria said.

“Who?” Scarlet asked.

“Sage. I heard it on good rumor that he’s gonna be here. Have you seen him?”

Scarlet’s stomach fluttered as she thought of him. She wanted more than anything to push thoughts of him out of her mind, to let him be completely Maria’s. After all, Maria was her best friend, and she wanted her to be happy. But try as she did to suppress it, she couldn’t help realizing she also felt something for Sage.

“No,” she said back, nervously. “I haven’t really been looking.”

“So like what did he say to you after class?” Maria asked, turning to her. “Did he say anything about me? Does he like me?”

Scarlet could see how obsessed Maria was over him, could see that she wasn’t letting it go. She had never seen her this bad before. Scarlet couldn’t help wondering if Maria wanted to see her tonight to truly reconcile their friendship, or only because she wanted to get more information out of her about Sage.

Scarlet felt bad for her. She knew that what Sage had said—that he didn’t like Maria—would devastate her. She didn’t have the heart to tell her that. Besides, she could see that Maria was lost in her own fantasy, and that she wouldn’t even believe it if she said it.

“He really didn’t say anything. The bell rang, and I walked out.”

“Do you think he was into our scene, when we were partnering up? I thought I saw him looking at you, and I got confused.”

Scarlet didn’t know how to reply. She really didn’t want to let her friend down; but she couldn’t lead her on, either.

“I really don’t know. I don’t know anything about him.”

“But you were there. Tell me. What do you think? Was he into me?”

Scarlet had no idea what to say, so she just took another sip.

“OMG, I can’t stop thinking about him,” Maria continued, not waiting for a response. “I
have
to have him. I heard he still doesn’t have a date for tomorrow night. I’m asking tonight. I decided. I really am this time. I’m going to force him to say yes.”

“Hey guys,” came the voice. They turned, and there stood Becca, arm in arm with her boyfriend, Jake. “Having fun?”

“Hey guys,” Jake said.

“Hi Jake,” they said. “Thanks for having us.”

“You and the rest of the school,” he laughed. “It’s getting crazy.”

“Are your parents gonna be pissed?” Maria asked.

He raised a finger to his mouth, as if to indicate silence.

“If my cleaning lady does her job, they’ll never know. Let’s just hope no one calls the cops.”

They were suddenly grabbed by other people, and turned and headed off into the crowd.

Scarlet’s pocket vibrated, and she pulled out her cell. As she saw the number, her heart stopped.

It was her dad.

It took her breath away. She didn’t know what to do. There was no way he’d be calling her, unless he knew. Somehow, he must have got into her room and saw she wasn’t there.

Oh no
, she thought.
He must be freaking out.

“What’s wrong?” Maria asked; she must’ve seen her expression.

“My parents,” she said.

Maria shrugged. “Whatever,” she said. “It’s not even that late.”

But Scarlet was not so nonchalant; she wondered how she’d cover up the smell of alcohol on her breath, or cigarette on her clothes. She wondered if she should answer the phone or ignore it. Neither was a good option. She decided to ignore it. Better to try to explain later, in person.

“OMG, there’s Blake!” Maria yelled, grabbing Scarlet by the shoulder and pointing to the far corner of another room.

Scarlet’s heart started to pound as she spotted him, standing with his buddies by the keg, getting a refill. Luckily, he hadn’t seen her yet. Now that she saw him, here in the flesh, she wasn’t sure if she wanted him to. She was having second thoughts. After what happened, she wasn’t even sure how she felt about him. She had apologized and he had ignored it. That was rude. He hadn’t answered her texts and he’d been acting like she didn’t existed. For her, that was too much. It made her really think twice about whether she liked him at all.

And ever since meeting Sage, it became a lot easier to forget about Blake.

“What are you waiting for?” Maria prodded. “Go up to him. Vivian’s not here. This is your chance.”

“I don’t really feel like it,” Scarlet replied.

“What are you talking about? Tomorrow’s the big dance. He’d standing right there. What are you waiting for?”

Scarlet was starting to resent all the pressure.

“You’re hardly one to talk,” she finally snapped. “It’s not like you asked Sage out.”

Maria frowned.

“I’m done chasing him,” Scarlet said. “If he wants to approach me, he will. If he doesn’t, that’s fine.”

“So then what, are you like not even gonna go to the dance?” Maria asked.

“Would that be the end of the world?” Scarlet replied.

Maria shrugged.

“I’m gonna look for Sage. I’ll be back. Will you be here?”

“I think I might wander a bit,” Scarlet said. “Maybe get some air.”

“Okay, I’ll do a quick tour of duty, then find you.”

Scarlet wandered out of the kitchen, into the adjoining sitting room, the music getting louder. She weaved between the bodies and made her way out to the back deck. She set down her barely-drank wine cooler in a dark corner. She really didn’t want to drink tonight, or get into the habit. She didn’t need it. She could enjoy herself without it.

It was good to be out here, in the fresh air, especially since inside was so hot and steamy. A small group of kids congregated back here, but they were engrossed in their own conversation and kept to themselves.

Leaning on the railing, she looked out across the backyard. She watched the large oak trees swaying in the wind, and behind them, caught glimpses of the full moon. It was a beautiful night.

“There you are,” came the voice.

Scarlet’s heart pounded as she recognized the voice. Blake.

She slowly turned and saw him standing there, dressed in jeans and a hoodie, a shark-tooth necklace at the base of his throat. He held a cup of beer in one hand, and Scarlet could tell from his expression that he’d already had a few.

“I heard you were here,” he said. “Why didn’t you say hi?”

Scarlet stared back at him, wondering if she’d heard correctly. Was he kidding? Was he playing mind games?

“Why should I?” she said, proud of herself for standing up to him.

He took a step closer, a little off-balance, and looked at her. As she looked into his blue eyes, she momentarily felt her old feelings for him; but she forced herself to look away.

“You’re the one that took off,” he said. “I figured you weren’t into me.”

She thought about how to respond. Finally, she had a chance to explain.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “I really am. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I was actually having a really good time. It was just…”

Scarlet hesitated, wondering how to phrase it.

“Just what?” he said. “I’m not good enough for you?”

“No, it’s nothing like that,” she said. “It was just…I got really sick. I can’t explain it. I just didn’t feel well.”

He looked at her, and for the first time, his expression softened.

“Why didn’t you just say so?” he asked.

“I tried,” she snapped, her anger rising, “but you never replied to my text.”

He looked down, as if with regret. “You’re right. If I knew….” He trailed off.

“Anyway, you didn’t have to go saying those things about me, to Vivian,” Scarlet said. “That you dumped me and all that.”

His eyes opened wide. “I never said that.”

“It was all over Facebook.”

He shrugged. “She made it up. It wasn’t me. I can’t control her.”

“Then why didn’t you go online and say something?” Scarlet asked, relieved he hadn’t said it, but still mad.

He looked down, guilty.

“Listen,” he said, “let’s just forget all that. The past is the past. I came out here because I wanted to talk to you. About the dance tomorrow night. I was—”

“So,
this
is where you’re hiding,” suddenly came a voice.

Oh no
, Scarlet thought.
Not her. Not now.

She turned and saw, standing there, her worst nightmare: Vivian. Flanked by two of her friends. Her eyes were bloodshot, and she was clearly drunk. The three of them marched out onto the back deck, as she strutted right up to Blake.

“Vivian,” he began, “I don’t—”

“You don’t
what
?” she snapped back, not letting him finish.

“It’s just not…” he began, “…it’s just not working out.”

“What are you talking about?” she spat, fuming. Then she turned and looked at Scarlet, daggers in her eyes. “Are you telling him lies about me?”

Scarlet was taken aback. Here was Vivian, who told lies about everyone else, accusing Scarlet of telling lies about her.

“We weren’t talking about you at all,” Blake said, in her defense.

Finally, Scarlet thought. Blake was
finally
standing up for her.

“Don’t lie,” Vivian snapped, turning back to Blake. “Remember what you said to me the other day. I don’t think you want me repeating it,” she threatened, staring right at Blake.

Blake’s face turned red and Scarlet wondered it was he’d said.

“Anyway, this is between me and her,” Vivian snapped, looking back at Scarlet. “Go get me a drink,” she ordered Blake.

Blake stood there, debating. Scarlet could see that this was his moment. This was his time to stand up to her for good, to be the man that Scarlet needed him to be.

But his eyes glazed over in defeat, and she could see in that moment that he just didn’t have the courage to stand up to Vivian. There was just something about her that overpowered him.

Blake slinked away, back into the house, leaving Scarlet alone to face Vivian and her friends. It was an act that Scarlet would never forgive him for.

Scarlet’s face flushed red. Not only was she furious at Vivian, but she was supremely disappointed in Blake. That certainly wasn’t the quality she wanted in a boyfriend. And for the first time, she wondered if she was wrong to have any feelings for Blake at all. For the first time, she wondered, if he asked her to the dance, if she would even say yes.

“If you think you can waltz in here and steal Blake away from me, you’re mistaken,” Vivian said, inching closer to Scarlet, slurring her words. “You’re a loser. A nobody. You wouldn’t even have been invited here if your friend wasn’t dating Jake. Good luck going to the dance tomorrow night without a date.”

Vivian leaned in closer, so close that Scarlet could smell the vodka on her breath.

“And if you get in my way with Blake again, that little posting online will be nothing compared to what’s going to come. Every single day, for the rest of the year,” she hissed at Scarlet, with utter venom.

BOOK: Craved (Book #2 of the Vampire Legacy)
10.16Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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