Authors: Melanie Marks
2013 Melanie Marks
Cover Image © Yuri Arcurs
this is just a paranormal bonus story … ’cause Halloween is on its way.)
I was just hungry.
Really, really hungry.
And it was dark and late and he was
out jogging. I can’t resist a moving target. I just … can’t. Especially ’cause,
you know, I was so hungry.
Plus, I’d just resisted my
sort-of-boyfriend, Cory. Didn’t touch him (his throat, I mean) though he
smelled so good I wanted to suck every last drop of his yummy, tasty blood. But
I didn’t, and so I’d been proud, feeling all
, but then, walking home,
there was Jogger Man, and geez, I couldn’t help myself, I pounced.
But even as I did it, I thought,
“I’m in control. I’ll just drink a little—a tiny bit.”
I figured I’d put him in the
hospital, probably. But I swore to myself, “I won’t kill him. I won’t, I won’t,
But then, I did.
And now, today at school, I found
out it was Austin Cole’s dad. Austin Cole’s. Wa! I love Austin Cole. I do. He’s
yummy hot, but not in a pretty-boy way, not in an every-girl-in-school-has-got-to-have-him
Just a sexy
I used to follow him home after
school and peek in his windows, watch him eat spaghetti and get the sauce all
over his mouth like it was blood, like he was tempting me, teasing me. But he
wasn’t. He didn’t know I was alive.
But then, a few months ago, I saved
his little brother, Tanner. The kid was out in his yard, playing ball with his
friends while I watched Austin through his bedroom window, watched him do his
calculus homework, eating potato chips dunked in ketchup.
I saw Tanner dart in the street to
get the ball, saw the car zooming toward him way too fast. There was no time
for it to stop. I leapt from the bushes and across the yard, quick as a jaguar,
shoving Tanner out of the road. I saved his life without breaking a nail, and
finally got Austin’s attention.
The car had squealed on its breaks,
making Austin run to the window in alarm. He saw me save Tanner, his dear
little brother that he gave piggyback rides and taught to peddle a bike.
“Wow we were lucky you were
nearby,” Austin said after he invited me into his kitchen for some leftover
spaghetti that I couldn’t eat. “You saved my brother’s life.” He looked at me
with awe in his eyes. “That’s incredible.”
I smiled, totally agreeing—quite
incredible. Usually, things go the other way around, but today I
a life rather than
one. Yay me! I felt very grown up
And in love.
That afternoon Austin discovered we
liked the same type of music. (I already knew, as I’d been stalking him for
months. However, this was my first time
his house. [I have to be invited in.] I acted all
Wow, we like the same kind of music, what an amazing coincidence
We had an awesome jam session. He
let me play his guitar, though that’s really, totally his thing, but he let me
do it anyway, because, you know, I saved his brother’s life. So, sweet,
adorable Austin played the drums instead of his precious guitar, and little
Tanner conquered the base. We rocked.
It was the best day of my life. And
no blood was shed. Yay me.
A few days later
the school talent show. That morning, Austin stopped me as I was coming out of
my first period class, biology.
“Hi,” he said, “Can I talk to you
for a minute?” He drew close to me, probably only trying to avoid the mob of
student traffic mowing through the halls, but his eyes looked kind of sparkly
like. So, my
spirits were suddenly soaring through the roof.
I could smell his spearmint gum and
coconut shampoo and boy-deodorant. I tried concentrating on those aromas rather
than the intoxicatingly delicious scent of his blood.
did he know this was my class?
I wondered. Excitedly, I couldn’t help
he stalking me?
He smiled, like he could read my
thoughts. Which was hot. “I have your schedule memorized,” he said.
“Are you going to the talent show
tonight?” he asked.
I licked my lips, thinking. I had a
date with Corey.
Corey went to a different school. I
did that on purpose, chose a boy from a different school. So, I’d be available
to Austin … if he ever wanted me to
available. A girl’s got to think ahead when stalking, ‘cause ya never know. But
the thing was
I wasn’t done with Cory yet; I’d only
When I didn’t answer right away, Austin
leaned against the locker beside me. “I want you to be there,” he said.
I smiled, huge as Texas, “Okay.”
Easy answer. “I might be kind of late though. I have something to do first. Or
His eyes twinkled. “Just be there,
If I had a pulse, it would have
“Okay,” I promised.
That night I went out with Corey,
because I promised him that I would. We kissed a while,
I said, “I have to go.”
“No, not yet,” he murmured, kissing
me seductively on my neck, making me wild and hot for it—his blood, that
is. “I love you so much, only you.” He kept kissing and kissing and kissing. “I
think about you every second of every day. Tell me you love me too.”
I couldn’t exactly do that.
“Look,” I said, pulling away from
him, dizzy and breathless and hungry. “I have something for you.”
It was an intricate gold chain that
once belonged to my grandfather. It was worth lots of money. I wanted Corey to
have it because he liked me so much. I liked that about him.
His eyes lit up. “You got me a
gift? That’s hot.”
I helped him put it on, telling him
that the necklace was special to
belonged to my grandfather.
“I’ll keep it forever,” he
We kissed some more. Corey kept
murmuring, “I love you Irelan, only you. Tell me you love me too. Show me.”
I showed him I
him … by not killing him.
Then I had to leave for the talent
show. I was late. When I got there, Austin was on the stage with his guitar. It
was already his turn to perform.
He smiled all happy and toothy when
he saw me, then announced to the crowd, “I wrote this for an amazing girl that
I like a lot. It’s called Irelan.”
I sucked in my breath.
Shivers of utter happiness racked
through my body.
The song was pretty and sweet.
About a girl that saves a boy and changes his world.
song would have brought tears to my eyes.
If I had tears.
I could only stare. And smile.
After the talent show, Austin invited
me to go get ice cream with him and Tanner. I couldn’t eat ice cream, just the
thought of it made me shudder, but I came along anyway.
Nothing could stop me.
When it was my turn to order, I leaned
down and whispered to Tanner, “What flavor would you have gotten if not what
you have there—that Double-Chocolate-Delight?”
“Bubble gum!” he said.
So, that’s what I ordered, in a
cup, rather than a cone. Then I used my spoon a lot, dipping it into the ice
cream, swirling it around.
When Tanner finished his cone, I
rubbed my belly like I’d eaten quite a bit. “I’m full,” I gasped. “Tanner, do
you want the rest of my ice cream?”
Austin smiled, watching his brother
wolf the ice cream down,
he turned to me, his
eyes bright and sparkly. His voice was full of wonder as he said what he
mentioned often, “You saved his life.”
That was cool to hear and to know,
I saved his brother’s life. Austin mentioned it again a few days later when he
bought us tickets to see Scream Dream, my favorite band. And he whispered it in
my ear as we watched “Demon from Hell in 3-D,” right when it was getting to the
good stuff. Not only that, he took my hand as we worked on a song called,
“Blood, blood, I want your blood.” He looked into my eyes and said, “You saved
my brother’s life.”
He mentioned it a lot, just out of
the blue, at the most unexpected times: “You saved my brother’s life.”
But now, ugh! I’d
his dad’s. Grrr!
When I got to school and found out
it was Austin’s dad (Jogger Man) that I’d devoured last night in the park, I
dropped my books and ran to his house. When Austin opened the door and saw it
, Irelan, he wrapped his arms around me, like I
was an angelic fairy that would bring him comfort. The feeling was superb.
He pulled me into his house.
“I’m so glad you’re here,” he
seeming to really, truly mean it.
He had me sit with him at the
kitchen table. He made me cinnamon toast that I couldn’t eat, but methodically
crumbled into pieces on the plate, hoping it looked like maybe I’d perhaps at
least eaten a bite or two.
“It’s so freaky weird,” Austin said
rubbing his forehead, then his eyes. “My dad died the exact same way as Clair.”
Um, I forgot to mention Clair,
didn’t I? That was Austin’s girlfriend. I killed her too, a few months ago. But
that hadn’t been an accident. She had caught me peeking in Austin’s window. She
had threatened to tell Austin. So, of course, she had to go.
I wanted her gone anyway
. She just gave me
an excuse. But, interesting to note: she didn’t taste that good, at all. Skinny
girls are yuck. Trust me.
I stared up at Austin now.
Luckily, he wasn’t that sad about
his dad. I mean, he was sad.
But only sort of.
Apparently his dad was a mean drunk and yelled at Tanner a lot.
Still, I felt like I should say
something soothing and sweet and girlfriend-ish-like … not that I was his
girlfriend. I mean, since I saved Tanner, and Clair was dead now and
everything, Austin and I had become close, super tight.
not like boyfriend and girlfriend, not yet.
Clair had only been dead a few
months. Apparently it takes time to mourn the loss of a girl that gives you
love letters sprayed in perfume. Or maybe it was because she was murdered right
in his backyard by a wild wolf … or something. Maybe he felt kind of guilty
about that, responsible.
But for the past
few weeks, he’d been looking at me all
So, I went out and got me a practice boyfriend, Cory. So, you
know, I could practice not killing him. In case Austin ever got around to
touching me with more than just his eyes.
When/if Austin kissed
I didn’t want to get all blood lusty. Not like I did
with my last boyfriend. Poor Nate. He was a good guy. Cute.
Gazing at Austin now, I crumbled up
more toast. “Wow, really?” I said. Crumble, crumble,
“Your dad died from an animal attack too?”
“Yeah,” Austin sat sullen with a
furrowed brow. “A vicious wild animal is killing everyone I love.” He gazed up
at me, staring into my eyes. “Be careful, okay? I don’t want to lose you too.”
I smiled. That kind of sounded like
he loves me, right?
Austin’s gaze grew
turned longing-like. He
slowly drew towards me.
My (figurative) breath caught in my
is it! He’s finally going to kiss me. I’m
finally going to feel his amazingly tantalizing,
lips press against mine.
The thought had me purring. But then—drat
it! He jerked away from me with a groan. “Maybe you shouldn’t hang around me,
Irelan,” he said. “I’m bad luck. I’m worried for your safety.”
Why are the sweet boys the
? It’s so not fair.
I wanted to blurt out to him that
he didn’t need to worry about me being attacked by the “wild wolf” plaguing his
life, but just then Tanner tugged at my jacket trying to coax me to stand.
“Let’s go to the park.”
He didn’t have to go to school
today either, since his dad died last night.
His eyes were red from crying. I
tried not to notice. Instead, I tried to focus on what Austin had said, that
his dad was a drunk and yelled at him a lot.
“The park?” I bit my lip. It was a
bright, sunny day. The kind I like to hide out from, ’cause the sun kind of
burns, a little. But hey, the kid’s dad died.
“Alright,” I said, hopping to my
feet. Then I pulled Austin to his. He kept my hand, even after he was up. He
gave it a gentle squeeze, making me look into his eyes. He didn’t say anything
aloud, but his gaze said,
“I love you.”
I was pretty sure. It made my stomach flutter, made it feel like I had a
million butterflies dancing around in there, doing the happy dance.
We held hands all the way to the
park. As we walked, I thought about poor Cory, my practice boyfriend, how I
needed to break up with him, how I needed to do it all nice and gentle and with
great care since he liked me so much and thought of me every second of every