Holy burning holy water, Batman! Last week, Neil dropped the v-word — sorry, Eve Ensler, that’s vampire — right before Jacob busted in. Kayleigh’s MIA (and seriously wiggin’), and Finn suddenly decides NOW’S the time to call. Y’all voted to:

 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.

Let’s see what happens next …

Chapter 09: Tall, Dark, and Bloodthirsty

You roll your eyes at your cell phone and hit the “ignore” button, then slip it in your pocket.

“Who was that?” Neil demands.

“Um, none of your business, MOM,” you snap back, leaning back against the kitchen counter. “Now, start over from the beginning. We BOTH deserve to know what’s going on.”

Is it your imagination, or does Jacob move a little bit closer to you?

“Ok, ok. Keep your shirts on and let me think for a second,” Neil says. Mmm … shirts off… you think before you can stop yourself. “Look, Josh –“

“It’s JACOB,” you interrupt.

“Whatever. Jacob. Look, what have you noticed about your sister? Did you get a good look at what she’s hiding under her Olivia Newton-John getup? It’s not a hickey from Kanicke, I’ll promise you that. Kayleigh’s being used by the kids at school, and I’m here to figure out how and why.”

Jacob looks at you, one eyebrow raised.

“Don’t look at me, dude. Neil just tried to tell me he’s a vampire and Whitney, Finn and the rest of the soul suckers are messing around with more than their fair share.”

To your surprise, Jacob doesn’t snort or laugh. Instead, he gets very serious and starts messing with a ring on his right hand. A ring you hadn’t noticed before, but one that looks surprisingly like that mysterious box you saw in Neil’s locker earlier this afternoon. Was it really only this afternoon?

“Can we talk somewhere else? In, like, half an hour?” Jacob asks Neil. Turning to you, he says, “Hey, I’ll drive you home. We can look out for Kayleigh on the way. I’m sure your parents are starting to worry.”

You flush, and your mind races. Treated like the kid sister again, you try to think of something, anything to stay a part of the conversation. Or a way to show them you can handle yourself.

Do you:

A.  acquiesce? Hey, you’ve been dying for a little one-on-one private time with Mr. College Pants. Besides, you’re really starting to worry about Kayleigh.

B.  tell him “Hell, no!” and head over to Finn’s? Maybe someone will take you seriously.

C.  suddenly remember you left something terribly important at school, and ask Jacob to drop you there instead? After all, you’ve got a nail file and a couple of hairpins in your purse — how hard can it be to break into Neil’s locker and check out that weird box?

Meghan is an erstwhile librarian in exile from Texas. She loves books, cooking and homey things like knitting and vintage cocktails. Although she’s around books all the time, she doesn’t get to read as much as she’d like.