Option A won the vote almost unanimously this week, so we are going to: A.  Stick around and try out your Good Cop (or, ahem, perhaps this calls for Bad Cop) skills on Neil.

It’s about time the new boy delivered the goods:

Chapter 08: To Get Some Answers, Turn To Page 221

Wait, what did he say?

“Now you want to talk?” You–reluctantly–pull your arm from Neil’s grasp, but don’t take that step away from him. He just looks at you. “Well?” Cute or not, this boy is officially on your nerves.

Neil sighs, and runs a hand through his hair. “I – I want you to know, I’m just trying to protect you.”

That’s it. Time for Bad Cop. You throw your arms up in exasperation. “Protect me from what?!!!!! Why don’t you stop being cryptic and effing TALK to me?!!!”

Neil is not as shaken as you’d hoped by your outburst. Instead, he looks kind of sad. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”

You grab his upper arm and pinch. Hard. He looks up at you in shock and horror–and not a little anger. “What was that for?!”

“You said we need to talk, so TALK. I’m SO through with all of this cloak and dagger stuff.”

Wow, I should get frustrated like this more often, you realize. You haven’t stumbled or stuttered or made a fool of yourself once.

Neil takes a deep breath, and, not looking at you, speaks.

“I’m a vampire.”

You do what any sane person would do. You laugh. That laugh ends in a snort. Oops, so much for cool. But then Neil looks you in the eye, and you realize that he’s not joking around.

“What was that?” Your voice cracks.

“Vampires are real. I am one of them.” Well, holy crap. His eyes continue to bore into yours, and as images of Kayleigh’s neck wound flash through your head, your knees feel a little weak. However, you didn’t win best friend protector of the year award 5 years in a row for nothing, so your balled-up fists make contact with Neil’s very firm chest.

“What did you do to Kayleigh?!!”

Neil grabs your wrists and holds them against him to stop your flailing, and calls your name. “Nothing! I didn’t do anything to Kayleigh! That’s why I’m here! To stop what’s going on!”

“What?” you so eloquently ask, more than a little breathless from your exertion.

“I’m here to stop Heather and Finn from whatever it is they’re doing.”

“What are they doing, exactly?”

Neil lets go of you and turns away, frustrated. “I don’t know.” He bangs his fist on the counter. Whoa, there, big boy. “But it involves Kayleigh, now… and you.”


Just then, Jacob comes back into the kitchen- out of breath. “Kid sister got so fast, I couldn’t catch her.” Then he notices Neil for the first time. “Who’s this?”

The boys stare at each other for a beat, scowling–both of them puffing out their chests a tiny bit. Part of you thinks thinks this behavior is stupid, and part of you wishes they’d just take off their shirts and wrestle a little bit.

They both turn to look at you, and your cheeks flush.

“Um, Jacob… Neil. Neil… Jacob.”

“What the hell is going on? What’s happening to my sister?” Jacob directs his question at Neil.

Neil just turns to look at you.

“He deserves to know.” And you wouldn’t mind continuing this conversation, either.

Just then, your phone rings. You fumble it out of your pocket and see that it’s Finn calling.

Do you:

A.  answer the phone? You know Finn’s involved with this somehow.

B.  ignore the call and make Neil explain to both you and Jacob what he DOES know? It’s time to bring some college experience to the, uh, table.

C.  tell Neil it’s Finn calling you, and ask him if he thinks you should answer it? Maybe now with him on your side, you could both figure this out.

Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.