As I stood by the window looking down over the crowds that filled the streets below me I sipped on my whiskey and tried to block out the screams coming from behind me, deep in the heart of my new home. As the screams intensified however I couldn’t bear it any longer. I had to get out of here. I grabbed my bag and headed through the large house and made my way to the front door. Just as I reached it there was suddenly some-one standing in my way.
“Get out of my way Josh!” my face was expressionless as I spoke to him.
To give him credit he truly did look apologetic. I looked at the newbie vampire that was only here doing what he was told because of compulsion.
“I would love to Jennifer, I really would. But you know you’re not allowed to leave the house. He’ll kill me if I let you.” Josh’s eyes were pleading with me. I actually started to re-consider when another scream ripped through the house, strengthening my resolve.
"Let me! Josh the only two people who could ever tell me what to do were my parents and their both dead. So I’m going to make this easy for you...” Just as the last words left my lips I flashed forward and snapped Josh’s neck, his body crumpling to the floor. I didn’t enjoy doing it but he had a point and I didn’t want him killed because of me.
I stepped over his body and walked out of the house. I walked around the quarter taking in the sights, something I should have done almost two months ago when we first arrived in New Orleans. I stopped outside a bar called ‘Rousseau’s’. Deep down I knew that this was defiantly the one bar I should avoid but I think that’s what pushed me to open the door and step inside. I was tired of being a good little girl obeying every command thrown at me.
The place was packed, I worked my way through the crowd towards the bar and managed to get myself a stool. I was just sitting when the blonde woman working behind the bar came over to me. Her name tag read ‘Cami’ and as she smiled at me I felt the excitement of being in a new place finally start. I returned the smile with one of my own.
“Hello Cami, I’m Jennifer and I’m in a celebrating mood. How about a shot of tequila followed with a vodka and 7-up?”
“Well Jennifer it’s nice to meet you. Let me get you those drinks.”
A moment later she put my vodka in front of me, then put two shot glasses down and filled the both with tequila. I raised an eyebrow at her as she pushed one to me and lifted the other.
Hasn’t anyone ever told you, you shouldn’t celebrate alone.” She explained, holding her shot glass up. Laughing I lifted my own and clinked it against hers. ”Sláinte.” I said before we both downed the shots. She quickly bit into a slice of lemon before giving me a grimaced smile.
I laughed again, I liked Cami. Maybe I had already made a new friend. I cold defiantly use one who had no ties to all the crap that was going on in my life at the moment.
“Hey Cami, who’s your friend?” a voice spoke behind me. I had gotten pretty good at sensing people approaching me since I turned and I hadn’t realised that someone was standing so close to me. Cami spoke before I had a chance to turn. “This is Jennifer. Jennifer, this is Marcel.”
My whole body froze. Without saying a word I lifted the bottle of tequila still sitting on the bar and poured myself another shot. I downed it then turned on the stool forcing a big smile as I held out my hand.
“Hi, nice to meet you.” I said, my voice strong and steady.
As we shook hands I quickly looked him up and down. So this was Marcel. When I looked him in the eye again he was smiling and I realised he thought I was checking him out. Marcel lowered himself onto the stool next to me. “Can I get two whiskeys please Cami... and whatever Jennifer is having?”
Cami threw me a quick smile before going to get the drinks. I took a large mouthful of my own drink as Marcel watched me.
“So... I haven’t seen you around here before?” He made it sound more like a question than a statement.
“Well that’s probably because I haven’t been here before. I just got into town. Thought I might stay a while.” I answered. He knew what I was, I could see it all over his face. “I heard this town had a great night life!” I added.
He laughed, “It defiantly does. Especially for the right kind of people.”
Cami came back with the drinks then went off to serve the other customers. I thanked Marcel for the drink and then noticed that he had gotten two drinks. “Why not just order a double instead of two singles?” I asked, curiosity getting the better of me... stupid curiosity.
“Well that would be because one of them is for me sweetheart.”
My hand froze, glass at my lips when I heard the new voice behind me. Crap.
“Klaus, this is Jennifer. She’s new in town so I figured I should give her a proper welcome.” Marcel said.
Crap crap crap...
I still hadn’t turned to face him. I kept my eyes in front of me. Klaus came around and reached between Marcel and me to grab one of the drinks on the bar. I finally looked at him. He was wearing a smile but his eyes... crap.
His eyes told me just how much trouble I was in. Marcel was watching so I had to be quick and calm. I put my hand out, “Hi, it’s nice to meet you.” He took my hand and squeezed it a teensy bit harder than necessary.
“So what brought you to our little town?” Marcel asked, “Can’t just be the night life.”
I tore my gaze from Nik’s face to look at Marcel. “I was looking for a new start when I was told that for someone like me New Orleans would be a great place to put roots.” I wasn’t exactly lying when I said this, I just left out the part that it was Nik who had told me.
Marcel was still smiling at me but it was becoming increasingly difficult to focus on him when I could feel Nik’s gaze burning into me.
“Well,” Marcel stated standing up, “It could defiantly be the town for you. We will have to talk though. There are rules to living here. Tell you what, I’m having a masquerade ball tomorrow night for charity. You have to come.” He didn’t make it sound like I had much of choice in the matter so I just nodded and smiled at him.
He clapped his hands, “Marvellous. You can get the details from Cami... although be careful of what you say to her. She doesn’t exactly know about... our kind. Now if you will excuse us, myself and Klaus have business to discuss.” He gave me one final smile and then walked off. I looked to Nik and opened my mouth to speak but he cut me off.
“It was lovely to... meet you. Perhaps we will get the opportunity to talk again.” With that he was gone. I turned and dropped my head onto the bar.
“Are you ok Jennifer?” Cami asked.
I sat up straight. “Yup, I have to go now though, but before I go, Marcel said I could get the details of this thing tomorrow night from you.”
Cami grabbed a pen and piece of paper and scribbled down the address and then as an after thought added her phone number before handing it to me. “If you want you can be my purely platonic date to it?” She asked, “I hate going to these things alone.”
I didn’t even have to think about it, “I’d love to. I’ll call you tomorrow.”
I pocketed the piece of paper and left the bar. As I made my way home I knew I was dragging my feet and I also knew I was just delaying the inevitable. As I walked I started making a list in my mind of all the things I would say to Nik.
I stopped walking suddenly, causing someone to bang into me. As the person walked off glaring at me I stayed perfectly still and closed my eyes. I might not have felt Marcel come up behind me in the bar but I defiantly knew I was being followed now.
My eyes snapped open and I started walking a bit faster now. I knew I couldn’t go straight home, if it was Marcel or any of his lackeys I couldn’t have them finding out where I lived... or more importantly who I lived with.
I ducked into an alley, then turned and stood my ground facing the alley entrance. I stood there for a few moments, using every sense I had but no one appeared. Whoever had been following me was gone. I let out the breath I hadn’t realised I had been holding in and continued home.
As the house came into view I thought back to when I first saw it, the promise of a new beginning away from all the fighting in Mystic Falls. Things were supposed to be different here, but of course that hadn’t been the case.