Just A Little Luck

12

Despite being attacked the night before, her mom and dad made her go to school. And she had to walk. Josh was driven to school like the big baby he was, and Amanda was left in the dust.

Hot, angry tears filled her eyes as she walked, feeling all these eyes on her, judging her. Her wet hair dripped down her back, cold; she'd stood in the shower long enough for the hot water to grow cold, her skin chafed and raw from scrubbing away his touch, and she had headphones in so she wouldn't hear his voice whispering in that crackly voice.

Maybe they really didn't care. She wondered if she had been hurt if they had cared. Seriously contemplating running away for the day or so, her thoughts were interrupted by a familiar voice.

"Amanda?" Those dulcet, velvet tones...

She turned her head and saw Ray sitting in a dark blue car with an older looking boy in the driver's side. As soon as she opened her mouth, the hot tears that had been plaguing her all morning escaped and dripped down her face. Any and all strength left her, and she crumpled to the ground, unable to stand anymore.

A door opened, closed. Cool hands wrapped around her arms and hauled her upright. She sagged against him, feeling his icy cheek press against her temple. "Oh, Amanda," he whispered, and it was a flash of lightning in her veins, and she could feel the pull of the waves in his eyes.

He stepped away, holding her at arms' length, and turned to the red-haired driver. "Wanna give us a ride? She can't be in school, George," he said, and the other boy, George, got out of the car and helped Amanda into the backseat, where she laid down. The upholstery was cool against her blazing cheek, and she listened to what the boys were saying.

"Wasn't she the one from last night?" George asked quietly as Amanda felt the car roll forward carefully.

The motion made her stomach clench, threatening vomit, but she prayed quietly until it passed.

"Yes. I can't believe he'd—she's not his type. And I already marked the territory, so why would he go after her?" There was an angry growl in Ray's voice that made a shiver run up Amanda's back, and she let some hair drape over her face so they wouldn't realize she was awake.

Ray's profile was all sloping angles and cutting cheekbones and that tiny, up-turned nose that looked out of place on such a serious face. His thin lips moved quickly as he spoke, agitation dripping off everything he said.

Territory? Marking, as in peeing?

George, with his full lips and pin-straight head of red hair, didn't look as angry as Ray. "Relax. He probably didn't smell it—he is getting hard of scent after all—and figured she was up for grabs," he soothed his friend but Ray seemed to grow angrier.

"She's is not up for grabs. By any one." And then, an afterthought, his voice so quiet and thin Amanda had to strain to catch the words, "Including me."

Hard of scent? Her stomach twisted painfully as the car slowed to a stop. The only men she'd met had been Mr. Dawes and the creepy one from last night. Just the idea of him wanting her because she was new, because she was "up for grabs" made her nearly vomit, but she breathed through it.

"She's different than the others, isn't she?" George whispered in the quiet of the car.

Amanda wondered if the school would call to tell her parents about her absence.

Quiet, the only sound being the hum of the engine. Lulled into relaxation, she closed her eyes, and the silence stretched out for such an amount of time that she was half-expecting Ray not to respond.

But he did, and the crushed anguish in his voice made her want to sit up and see his face, but she was so very tired and the seat was so very warm.

"At first, I thought of them. The new ones. A new family, a new set of kids. But I saw her. And I thought she was cute, like really cute."

"So you wanted to bang her?"

Amanda nearly choked.

"No, you idiot. Like I said, I thought she was cute. It stemmed from there, from when I saw her, and now I'm not sure if I can feed off her. Hurt her like that. Use her."

Feed off...? Amanda opened her eyes, but a wave of fatigue had her remain laying but it was the robin blue, purple-blue, a milky blue, gaze of Ray Thurston that pinned her to the seat.