I had been shocked at the idea of sneaking out, but when I received straight nos from both mum and dad, sneaking out suddenly didn’t sound like a bad idea after all. It was already past nine when mum and dad decided to call it a night. I rushed out of bed as soon as the light under their bedroom went off. I quickly changed into warm clothes and waited a few minutes to ensure mum and dad were fast asleep when I escaped. I was a bit late, but hopefully Jason didn’t mind. I got all jittery inside thinking about meeting Jason. He had definitely turned me into a person I never thought I would become. Never in a million years did I ever think that I would ever sneak out of the house.
I was quite nervous about meeting Jason’s friends. I had wondered for a long time if he had any friends. After all he spent most of his time after school with me since he moved here. Were his friends nice or mysterious and scary just as he was the first time I met him. I guess I was about to find out in the next half hour.
I quietly opened my bedroom door and tiptoed out. I couldn’t jump out of my window like what Jason did. I would break my legs and never be able to walk again. I was still curious as to how he had managed to make it out alive. I held my shoes very close to my chest as I descended the stairs. I made sure to dodge all the creaky spots.
I slowly unlocked the door, quickly glancing behind me to make sure no one had noticed. I heard the soft click of the door unlocking and I unobtrusively opened it. As soon as I closed the door behind me, I sprinted towards the end of the street and sure enough, Jason was there resting his back on a lamp pole.
“Jason.” I whispered and he quickly looked up.
“Kate. Hey.” He strolled towards me, a grin plastered on his lips.
He leaned his head towards mine and in a matter of seconds his lips were on mine. I couldn’t help but melt into his arms as he deepened the kiss. I could feel my legs subsiding under me that for a second I questioned their existence. Luckily Jason’s arms held me up. Jason disengaged his lips from mine way too soon. I looked up at him and he was smiling, showing his pearly white teeth. “I’m glad you came.”
I just smiled at him with my feet freezing. “Now come on. My friends are already there.” Jason pulled me towards his car.
When we got in I reached down to put on my shoes and I heard Jason chuckling next to me. “What?” I seized lacing my shoes and looked up at him confused.
“You actually removed your shoes to get out of the house?” Jason asked looking at me curiously.
“Yes. How else did you expect me to get out of the house unnoticed?” I asked tying my left shoe and Jason snickered in response and we left.
When we arrived, I noticed that we weren’t the only people late. A few people were dressed in black, with hair spiked up above their heads like a short/long Nosed Echidna when it is ready to attack. Some had their hair coloured in different neon colours, blinding my eyes. Some were wearing casual short pants and dresses.
“Come on.” Jason said pulling me by my hand.
We reached the club hand in hand. I glanced upwards at the sign that said: Jo’s club house. Well that was one weird name for a club. The outside of the whole club was covered in black paint and a few square windows lined the wall. I could see a few people inside the building drinking, laughing, dancing and kissing. I started questioning my agreement to come to this club.
A huge and bald man stood by the door. Muscles bulging from his white t-shirt. He wore an expression that radiated power and strength. I was sure that expression had been responsible for a lot of wet trousers and frightened grimaces. In cowardice, I hid behind Jason.
“IDs.” The man asked eyeing me inquisitively, then at Jason.
Jason produced some cash from his pocket and handed it to the bouncer. He glanced in his hand and smiled, clearly satisfied with whatever Jason gave him and mentioned for me and Jason to go in. As soon as we were inside I breathed a sigh of relief. I was met by a swam of bodies, dancing. I held on to Jason’s hand, scared to lose him in this mousy and humid environment. A loud rock song played through the speakers making me want to cut off my ears. It was too loud.
“Come on and meet my friends.” Jason shouted over the music.
He pulled me towards what looked like a small bar in the corner of the club. A group of young people who looked our age were crowded around the little bar, talking and drinking. Jason came to a halt in front of the crowd. I saw Anna-Marie, Brian and Jackson. I was about to mention that I had met these people, when I felt Jason’s arm muscles go rigid in my hand. I looked up at him confused as to why he suddenly became tense. He was grinding his teeth and his gaze was forward. Whatever that had made him tense must have been really bad. I followed his death glare and I too suddenly became tense. Craig sat on a bar stool with a wide grin on his lips. Carla was perched on his lap wearing the same expression. So they were together.
“Hello cousin,” Craig spoke before standing along with Carla. Jason didn’t reply. He gripped my hand tighter in his. Craig walked towards us, an amused smile on his face. He stopped when he was only a few centimetres away from Jason. “It’s good to see you, cousin.” He patted Jason’s arm.
“What are you doing here?” Jason finally spoke, his voice taut and thick.
“Your friends are my friends, remember?” Craig casually spoke motioning towards a group of people sitting by the bar. He turned towards me, “Good to see you, Mary-Kate. Seems like you don’t need me anymore.”
I cringed at his gaze. His eyes, ochre and bright like the morning sun. However, I could see deep inside that they possessed dark thoughts. I may have been a sucker for his enthralling eyes before but now, Craig’s amber eyes sent chills down my spine. Carla emerged from behind Craig and came face to face with me. She held onto Craig’s hand firmly before grinning until her lips became thin.
"Hey, you." She smiled innocently before detaching herself from Craig’s embrace. "How have you been?" She asked placing her hand on my shoulder innocently. I tried to jerk free off her but she held me tighter.
She gazed into my eyes intensively. Her eyes turned into a colour of faint red. I felt something, a wave of coldness, trying to enter my mind. What was she doing to me? I quickly remembered what dad taught me. I imagined the brick wall and blocked the wave from affecting me. The wave dissipated. Carla's expression suddenly changed into a stunned one, but she quickly turned into an eccedentesiast. She gently squeezed my shoulder before turning her gaze towards Craig.
“What did you do to her?” Jason questioned next to me before turning to face me. “Are you ok Mary-Kate?”
I was brought back from my trance by Jason’s frantic voice. I nodded, still trying to grasp what had just happened.
“Come on babe, lets go and dance.” I heard Carla’s voice but I didn’t follow it.
"Come on, I’ll introduce you to everyone later. Let’s find you something to drink.” Jason weaved me through crowd towards another bar, far away from his friends. I trailed behind him to the bar. He sat on a bar stool rubbing his temples. "What drink would you like?" He groaned as I took a seat next to him.
"Anything, as long as it is not alcoholic. I can't manage going home drunk." I laughed.
I turned my gaze towards Carla as Jason was giving our order. She was happily dancing with Craig between the crowd. I quickly turned my head to Jason as he handed me what looked like lemonade and he was holding a glass full of red liquid, maybe raspberry juice but it looked too dark and dense.
"Thank you." I said to Jason taking the lemonade from him.
"No problem." He replied toneless before taking a sip of his drink. I could see Jason was really bothered about Craig and Carla’s presence. Trust me, I was too. Why had he decided to show up here all of a sudden? We drank our drinks in silence. Actually not silence since there was loud music playing from all sorts of directions.
"What kind of drink is that?" I asked curiously after about a minute of no talking.
"Oh, this?" He held the glass up. "It's cranberry juice."
"I've never drank it before." I said taking a sip of my drink. Who would want to drink cranberry juice though?
"You wanna try it?" Jason nudged the glass towards me.
"Ok." I said using a straw to sip the drink. It was thick and had metallic taste to it. However, as it ran down my tongue it became sweet and addictive. "What kind of drink is this?" I question again, my eyes wide with pleasure.
"I said it before, cranberry juice." Jason replied smiling, finishing the rest of the drink in one gulp. I just looked at him trying to figure if he was telling the truth or not because that definitely didn't taste fruity. "Come on let's dance. This is my favourite song"
A rock song thumped from the speakers. It sounded familiar; Tina made me listen to it the first time it came out. I quickly placed my half empty glass on the counter and took Jason's hand. We shuffled towards the dance floor. We danced until we were out of breath. Jason did some moves I didn't even understand making my stomach hurt from laughing.
Craig and Carla later joined us. I have no idea how they did it but, I noticed Carla getting closer and closer towards Jason. I moved towards Jason so he wouldn’t be snatched away from me but I felt a strong hand pull me backwards. I turned my head and met Craig's gloomy eyes. Panic settled in my stomach.
"Wanna dance?" He asked, his voice honeyed and his dark amber eyes tormenting my brown ones. I quickly turned my head towards Jason but he was too far away. I shook my head to say no but he kept a strong grip on my hand. I pulled my hand in attempt to free myself from him but he held on tight.
"What do you want?" I questioned sternly.
"You." Craig said with eyes as red as blood.
How did he do that? A few seconds ago, his eyes were amber and now they were two pools of blood. He held my gaze for what felt like eternity. There was a sudden rush and everyone was moving too fast for my eyes to focus. Within a few seconds I was standing in an empty hallway. I could feel music thumping under my feet. Were we outside the club house?
"Let me go!" I spat in Craig's face but he forced his weight on me. I used all of my willpower to push him away but he wouldn't budge. I felt him sniff my neck. "What are you doing, you creep?"
I tried to push him away again. He hissed at me. "I had missed your smell. You smell so good I would love to drain you dry right now but I know with only one of you, I can rule for more than three centuries."
"What are you talking about? Let me go" I pleaded.
The death in his eyes made me certain that he hadn’t dragged me here to strike a friendly conversation with me. I kept my gaze on him steady but deep inside I shook like crazy. My heartbeat was going hundred kilometres an hour. Panic teased my insides. Craig didn’t hesitate and he seemed to enjoy seeing me squirm under his gaze.
“Why are you so afraid Mary-Kate?” Craig questioned making me question the same.
I guess the colour of his eyes and the fact that he was wearing dark clothes that closely resembled the person who was watching me from afar at the food festival. “Have you been stalking me?” I blurted without thinking.
“What if I am?” Craig didn’t deny it, continuing to burst my personal bubble with his intimidating demeanour. He paused in front of my face. His breath striking my face making me shiver everywhere. “I see you’ve chosen Jason over me.”
“What?” I replied shocked at his words. Who I chose wasn’t his concern. “You lied to me.”
“That, I cannot deny. Having you fall in love with me was what I wanted. However, Jason always managed to stop my plans before they could bloom. But there is something you’ve to know. Jason also has the same intentions as me. You better watch your back because I’m not done with you. Jason maybe there to watch over you temporarily, but trust me, he’s going to break your wee little heart very soon.” Craig hissed before releasing me.
I stood there, tears raining down my cheeks. What did Craig mean? Jason had the same goal he did? What was I going to do? Stay away from Jason? Convince my parents to move to another town? I panicked weighing my options. I felt myself becoming dizzy. I closed my eyes, but I was soon awakened by someone shaking my shoulders.
"What's wrong Mary-Kate?" Craig asked, fake worry emitting from his voice. "I just asked if you wanted to dance, that's all. You didn't have to faint on me."
I looked at him confused. Had I imagine that? I looked around the room and we were back in the middle of the dance floor. Jason only a few feet away from us. I swear I was dragged into the hallway of the club and his eyes. His eyes were red, just like Jason’s. Was what he said true? Was Jason lying to me?
"What's wrong?" Craig asked again with an innocent look on his face, his eyes were back to their usual ochre colour.
"Let go of me!" I pushed Craig’s chest before storming towards Jason.
"I want to get out of here." I informed Jason as soon as I was in his view.
"Why so sudden?" Confused, Jason turned his attention to me then Craig. It seemed as if he had just been released from a trance as well. What were Craig and Carla plotting?
"I just don't feel good." Which wasn’t exactly a lie.
"Me too. Let's go." He placed his arm around my waist and led me away from the couple. I glanced back at them. Arm in arm, grins written all over their faces.
When we got into Jason's car no one said a word. I didn’t understand why Craig did that. What was he talking about, Jason having the same intention as him? With me he could rule for three centuries? What did this all mean? I didn’t want to question Jason. I had to make sense of Craig’s words first.
"Would you like me to turn up the heater?" Jason spoke next to me. I shook my head before turning myself towards the window. Jason placed his palm on top of my hand sending a cold chill through me. I closed my eyes to keep myself from crying.
"I don’t know what Craig and Carla did in there but if there is something wrong please tell me." I heard Jason’s warm voice next to me.
I glanced at him and nodded while smiling, but my smile quickly dropped when I realised I didn’t really know who Jason was. What was his family like? Where was he from? Unanswered questions kept on piling in my head. But one question remained on top of the heap. Did he mean every word that came out of his mouth?
I didn't realise we were home until I heard Jason opening the passenger door. I whispered a quick thank you.
"Thank you for tonight." I said to Jason.
"Welcome. I wish they hadn’t come to ruin everything." He replied searching for my eyes. He looked at me as if he was trying to read my mind, but I kept my thoughts locked after the incident with Carla. "You can trust me Kate."
"Good night." He said before placing a kiss on my forehead.
I didn't dare to look at him as I shuffled towards the door. I tried my best to sneak back into the house without making too much noise. I pondered while sitting on my bed. What was Jason’s purpose to take me out? What did Craig mean with those words?
These were the times I wished Tina was here with me, to help me analyse the situation.
That question came back again but in a different form. Could I really trust Jason?