Bart came through the basement door. “Why are dress shoes a thing?” He exclaimed. He was holding a plastic bag with a box inside. “These are the most uncomfortable thing I’ve ever put on.”
Ali and Garrett were on the couch watching tv. Trevor was sitting at his desk cleaning his rifle.
Rena walked in from the kitchen, a bowl of chips in her hand “At least you don’t have to wear a dress.” She grumbled plopping on the couch next to Garrett.
“Ha! Garrett in a dress...that’s funny.” Ali said deadpan while staring at the screen.
The basement door opened as Sor rushed the room holding a box of shoes followed by Hope who looked like she was holding back a grin. “Rena! I have something for you!”
“Oh no.” Rena mumbled out, mouth full of chips.
Sor stood in front of her, blocking her view of the tv, and opened the box revealing a pair of simple black strap heels “Look how cute these are!”
“No, no, no!” Rena says in horror “I’m NOT wearing heels. A dress I can handle but not those ankle breakers.”
Sor pouted her lips and gave her puppy dog eyes “But you’ll look so amazing in them! It’s just for one night. Please please please.”
Rena groaned hating that Sor was one of the few people she could never say no to. “Ugh. Fine. give me the damn shoes. But I’m never wearing any again.” Rena grumbled out snatching the box from her hands.
Sor’s pout turned into a victorious smile as she faced Hope with an open hand. With a frown, Hope handed her a money bill.
“I told you I could get her to wear heels to the dance.”
Trevor walked over from his desk and sat down next to her studying the heels. “Those aren’t that bad Rena.”
Rena grunted in disapproval “You wear them then Johnson.”
“What are you guys wearing?” Trevor nodded towards Garrett and Alister hiding his smile from her.
“Fresh pressed shirt and tie! It’s going to be a fit for the ages.”Ali replies proudly.
“And, we’re gonna make our rounds if you catch my drift. Aye?”
“Yeah. I’m with you man.” Ali and Garrett fist bumped, eyes still fully locked on whatever was happening on the television.
Rena rolled her eyes “Anyways.” She smacked Trevor’s hand away from her bowl of chips causing him to yelp and hold it to his chest “How are the dresses coming along Sor?”
Sor’s eyes brightened in excitement as she sat crisscrossed in front of the couch “They came out amazing! You two are going to look beautiful! It’s really my best work.” She turned to Bart and Trevor with a large smile “You’re welcome in advance! You’re going to have the prettiest dates.”
“I mean I don’t know. You haven’t seen Ali in his heels yet so.”
Sor rolled her eyes and laughed.
“Was it hard to make them with your plant magic or whatever?” Trevor asked.
“It’s not plant magic.” Sor laughs out. “But no, it used to be difficult for me when I was younger but I just kept trying again and again until I got what I want.”
Bart’s mind drifted off. “Trying again and again until you get what you want,” Bart repeated her words in his head. Suddenly a thought dawned on him. Why hadn’t he thought of it before? Bart sat up in his seat. “Guys, I just had an idea. Sor, vampires have to feed in order to survive right? They have to consume or else they will starve and die correct?”
Sor rose an eyebrow not knowing where he was going with this “Well yes I suppose. Vampires are technically already dead, they can starve but can’t really die unless we physically kill them. But they can grow frail, weak, and most importantly aggressive in that starvation state. They’re prone to kill just about anything or anyone in order to feed.”
“Oh, so just like Rena?” Ali jokes. Rena threw a handful of chips at his face in response “Shut up.”
Bart thought for a moment. “Okay, guys think about this for a moment. The vampire has killed 3 people now, right? And injured another. Not to mention when he attacked us. But it has only fed on one person. He killed Henry and the other person but he never got the chance to feed. Not until Leon. He kept trying until he got what he wanted.”
Ali turned the volume down on the tv. “What are you saying, lad? You think it’s random or connected or what?”
“Obviously he wouldn’t need to feed like every day right? That would explain why we didn’t hear anything about it between October and November.” It was all clicking for him now.
“Slow down Bart.” Hope said. “You’re not making any sense. Does this have a point?”
“Yes Hope, it does. These aren’t just random killings, he’s trying to feed. And when he fails, he tries again until he gets it.” Bart stood and started pacing. His mind was racing. “And the most recent attacks have been on the days of stronghold events. That’s perfect cover because people are all partying after the games. School events are perfect opportunities for him to get someone.”
Trevor looked completely lost. “But the first two attacks weren’t during school events? They were random days.” Bart stopped. Trevor was right.
“What if he realized that in order to make a kill that he wouldn’t be able to be random about to? So the first kill he tried and failed, the same thing with the second. And then....” his voice trailed off. “We went into the forbidden floor. That thing attacked us down there. Remember how aggressive it was? Sor, you said that aggression was one of the symptoms after they haven’t fed for a long time.”
“It is.” Sor agrees with a nod of her head.
“It attacked did in the forbidden floor. It was getting desperate. And after it failed for the 3rd time it changed tactics. So after The hunters game, it found someone by himself. Leon. He succeeded. He fed.
And after a while, he needed to feed again. The day of the Hunters vs Brutes. It attacked Ian but he got away. It’s going to attack again. And what’s the biggest event of the semester that’s coming up?”
The dance.” Rena replies with wide eyes. “You think the vampire is going to attack at the dance?”
“Wait, wait, wait.” Hope Interrupted. “Bart there’s one flaw in that. There was another large event that would have been perfect to attack. Halloween. Everyone was out, that would have been the perfect opportunity to attack someone. Also, if it really does hang around the forbidden floor, why didn’t we see it that night?”
Bart realized she too right. He tried to think. “No.” He thought to himself with wide eyes Professor Mort.”
“What about him Bart?” Sor asks “You don’t think he has anything to do with this?”
“You’re mad.” Ali said in a tone of disbelief. “You think a professor of Ethelwine is secretly a flesh-eating vampire?”
“I lost my knife when we fought that thing the first time. It got left in the forbidden floor. After Detention I found my knife on Mort’s desk. And he came down there on Halloween. Why would he be going down there? There’s no way he knew we were there.”
“I’m sure he has his reasons.” Rena shrugged and stood to her feet “Look Bart, he’s a Grim and Gims are weirdos, no offense Garrett. But just because he likes spending time in the forbidden floor doesn’t make him a vampire.” She crossed her arms and stood in front of him with a raised eyebrow “AND thought we weren’t going to discuss this until the end of the two months?”
“Okay but if he’s going to attack during the dance we can’t wait until after break”
“We don’t know for sure if it is.” Rena argues back then turns to Ali and Trevor for help. “Talk some sense into him.”
Ali threw his hands up. “What do you want us to do Bart? Make a big scene at the dance and get it shut down? What happens if you’re wrong, lad?”
Bart sighed into his hands. “What if I’m not.” The group silenced for a moment. “You’ve been awfully quiet since I brought up Mort.” Bart looked at Hope.
Hope looked as if she was trying to carefully articulate her words “It’s just....” Hope sighed. She let out a small chuckle “If I didn’t know any better I’d say you were trying to skip out on the dance.”
Bart’s mouth fell open slightly. “No, I-. You know that’s no-“
“I know I know. Look, what you’re saying doesn’t sound completely crazy Bart, but you can’t prove it. There’s no way right now. I think we should just put it in the back of our minds and try to enjoy ourselves at the dance.”
“Great so it’s settled, no more talks about vampires or evil professors.” Rena says plopping back on the couch stuffing a handful of chips in her mouth.
“I-... Okay. Yeah. Let’s just have fun.” He tried to give Hope a reassuring smile
A knock on the door of the dorm startled Rena causing her to look up from her Myths and Monsters textbook, she had been trying all afternoon to focus and study. Of course she failed miserably but when she had finally been able to get herself into the chapter, she was interrupted.
With an annoyed sigh she rose from her chair stomping over to the door opening it harshly “What?”
Her gaze landed on Bart who was staring at her like a deer in headlights, his hand raised to knock on the door again. “What do you want Winchester?” She asks raising a brow.
“I Uh, need help with something for the dance.” He sputters nervously.
“Well Sor isn’t here, so come back la-” Rena went to close the door once again.
“Actually I need your help Beasley.” Bart interrupts putting his hand on the wood effectively stopping her..
“What, what do you need me for?” She demands crossing her arms.
Bart’s face turned red “Remember that favor you owe me?”
“Okay Winchester, put your hands on my hips.” Rena orders standing in front of him after turning on a slow song.
“Wait what?” His eyes widened in nervousness.
Bart had come and asked her for help in learning how to dance and he wanted to make sure Hope had a good time during their date. He had never been to a dance before or any school function for that matter, during his middle school years, he spent most of his time with August and his brother’s girlfriend, he didn’t bother attending any dances or being apart of any sports.
So he went to the only person he knew could teach him and not totally make him feel embarrassed.
Though she wasn’t a girl who seemed to like dances, Rena was part of a wealthy and upper class family, she practically grew up going to galas and balls if anyone could teach him to dance it was her.
“Look, you’re going to have to do this with Hope so just put your hands on my hips, I don’t have all night.” Rena states impatiently.
Bart huffed and lightly placed his hands on her hips while she rested her hands on his shoulders
“Okay good, now just follow my lead and let the music lead you.”
Slowly Rena began to move one foot to the left then her right foot joined. Bart nervously followed her steps halting after he stepped on her foot. “Ouch!”
“I’m sorry!” He apologizes trying to step away from her.
Rena took in a deep breath to calm herself “It’s fine... just relax Winchester, you’re too tense.”
He nodded and slowly began moving again. The room was quiet as they danced, Bart focused on his feet careful not to step on Rena’s foot.
She held back a laugh watching her friend “You know,” she begins, “It’s really sweet you’re doing this for Hopey.”
“Oh uh yeah well I wanted to make sure she had a good time during the dance. I didn’t want it to be lame for her.” He replies feeling his face heat up once more.
“Well I think Hope will be pleasantly surprised once I’m done with you Winchester, you’ll be a dance prodigy.” Her tone was sarcastic, though she knew the basics of dancing there was no way Bart could learn everything in a span of a week. She winced once more as he stepped on her foot a couple of more times.
Bart chuckled “Thanks for doing this Beasley.”
Rena shrugged uncaringly “No problem, just don’t make me have to dance with you again Winchester. My feet are probably bruised by now.”
He gave her a bright grin in return, half sorry and half amused.