May 15th, 2012 | Published in Haventon Chronicles
David stiffened slightly, he knew what that meant.
“Emma?” He lifted her hands away and turned to look at her. She was smiling nervously at him and chewing on her lower lip.
“I-I don’t know what to say,” he said.
“I don’t either,” she said “It’s too strange.”
“That’s an understatement. I’m not even sure what I’m feeling. I feel kind of happy to see you and kind of horrified at the same time.”
Emma sighed, but Leisa laughed. “It’s a start at least. A few days ago you would have just been horrified.”
“That’s true,” he said as Emma sat down beside him.
“All I’m asking, little brother, is that you give me a chance to prove that you don’t need to kill me.”
“I-I think I can manage that,” he said. “But I don’t think any other hunter will if they catch onto you, well except for Tanya. You’d better still keep your head down.”
“That’s obvious advice,” Emma said blandly. “Are you going to tell Tanya about this? Does she know you’re here?”
“Yes and yes,” he replied.
“Hmm… how do you think that she’ll react?”
“Well, she certainly won’t kill you out of hand,” he replied. Then he thought of something. “Do you know about Dad?”
“Yes.” She looked down sadly and closed her eyes, but he saw pink tinged tears leak between her lashes. “Sarah told me.”
When he thought about it he realised he shouldn’t behave been surprised that Sarah knew about this, but he was. “Does… does she know about me?”
“Yes, and about Tanya as well.” It was Leisa who answered.
“I see.” He would have to tell Tanya about that as well. He cupped his chin in his hand and examined his sister carefully. The tears still beading her cheeks were a paler pink than those of most vampire tears he had seen and her skin was pale and somewhat translucent. He’d seen enough vampires to know the symptoms. “You’re hungry.”
“Just a little,” she admitted. “I’ll have a few glasses of that.” She pointed at the bottle on the table. “And then call a friend later and deal with it.” She kept her tone bland. “Don’t worry, little brother, I’m not going to bite you.”
David frowned and struggled with himself for a moment as he summoned up his courage. “I-I won’t stop you if you want to.”
Leisa and Emma both stared at him, his shield must be working because he’d caught them both by surprise.
“I’d be more inclined to take you up on that if your voice wasn’t shaking,” Emma said after a moment.
“I don’t know if I can trust you, but I want to.”
“So you’re willing to risk your life to find out if I’m trustworthy?” she asked. “Dave, you’re crazy. I’ll wait until you know you can trust me.”
The relieved sigh escaped him before he could stop it. Both of the vampires laughed but they didn’t seem to be mocking him. Leisa reached out and put a hand on his head.
“You need to relax,” she said and the tension drained out of him.
“You did that!” His eyes flew wide. “I felt you do that.”
“Would you prefer being so tense you jump all the time?” she asked. “This is a party, David. No one’s going to hurt you here, I promise. If you relax you might learn something.”
“I have already,” he said. Then before he could stop himself. “Is it really your birthday?”
“Roughly. The date’s right but with calender corrections and such like it may not be entirely accurate.”
“I see.” David started to ask how old she was but managed to stop himself. Leisa must have realised what he was wondering because she chuckled briefly.
“I like you, David. I really do.” She poured out two more glasses of the blood wine for herself and Emma. “Now why don’t you get back to the party and relax for a while.”
“I suppose I may as well seeing as I’m here.” He rose to his feet and then turned an impulsively pulled Emma into a hug. “Please don’t be evil.”
She hugged him back. “I don’t intend to be.”
“Good.” He headed for the door.
“Oh and David,” Leisa said. “Don’t even think of going after Karl. I teach my kids to defend themselves as firmly as I defend myself.”
David paused at the door and turned to look at her. “He’s yours?”
“That’s what I just said isn’t it?” she replied.
He half-bowed to her. “I’ll leave him alone then. He seems nice enough, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for now.”