A vampire can persuade its victims to fall in love with it. Brea rereads the words, biting her nails. Across the sunny library, Clark, Brea’s closest friend, perches on one of the plastic orange stools which were added to make the library more modern. Brea keeps her head bent over the book with her blonde hair in her face, hoping he won’t notice her. He waves someone over. Brea sees Christy’s pale legs first. They’re blindingly pale. Then comes her short shorts and her flowery, flowing blouse.

If I wore that, I’d look stupid. 

Christy brushes her long, black braid over her shoulder. The light catches it, illuminating a subtle purple tint to her hair.

There’s no way that’s natural.

Christy grabs Clark’s hand and pulls him towards a table out of the sun. Creeping closer, Brea ducks behind a bookshelf. Christy’s light voice carries over to Brea. “Have you decided yet?”

Decided on what?

Clark shifts, his hand still trapped in Christy’s. “It’s a big decision.”

She traces the back of his hand with her finger. “Well, if you love me, then it should be easy.”

“We’re graduating soon. We’ll be going to different colleges.”

Brea’s throat tightens. Four hours away from Clark will change everything. What if Christy switches to go to the same school as Clark? They’re already hanging out together a lot without her. Will she lose him for good?

Christy leans forward so that her nose almost touches Clark’s. “We can survive the distance. I promise you. But only if you’re in. If you’re going to half ass it, I’ll find someone else.”

Find someone else to date? 

Clark sighs. “Alright. I’m in.”

“When are you going to tell Brea?”

Clark shrugs. “After.”

“After what?” Brea steps out from behind the bookshelf. “What do you need to tell me?”

Clark’s hand tightens around Christy’s, but Christy just smiles. Her eyes land on the vampire book in Brea’s hand. “I’m not a vampire.”

“Then why are you stealing my friend?”

Clark opens his mouth, but Christy whispers something to him. Face blank, he stands up and walks away. Brea tries to grab him as he passes her, but he shakes her off. “What did you do to him?”

Christy steps close to Brea, Christy’s perfume overwhelming her. Brea’s thoughts disconnect, slipping away like right before you fall asleep. Christy puts an arm around Brea’s shoulder. “Relax. Forget about Clark. You’ll make new friends. Aren’t we new friends?”

Brea feels her head nodding, but she can’t control it. I need to find…who’s in trouble? No one. Nothing to worry about. “Yes, we’re new friends.”


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