“Tell me about Raven.” Scorch looked sideways at B.D. as they walked back to the hotel. She of course didn’t so much want to know about Raven, as she wondered what the girl’s reactions were. The request caught B.D. off-guard, and she stuttered a bit when she did speak, her face tinged with a blush.
“He… wow…” She took a deep breath. “He’s intense.” Scorch nodded her understanding, more than familiar with what the other girl meant.
“And us, mon ami? How does the news of our… existence, sit with you?” B.D. scowled a bit, finally being able to fully process the events of the night.
“One the one hand,” she began, “I’m surprised. And a little skeptical. Every science teacher I’ve ever had, not to mention my dad, wouldn’t believe this at all, and look down on me for even talking about the possibility. But on the other, part of me wants so badly to believe what Raven tells me, and that there are real Vampires in the world, I just can’t shake it.” Her companion chuckled.
“We are real, B.D., you can believe him. Most of us had to come to that as well, get over our doubts and out fears and… give in…“ Scorch sounded almost wistful as she trailed off. B.D.’s flush darkened as her memory flooded with Raven and satin sheets. Scorch looked at the dark-haired girl from the corner of her eye. “Oui?”
“Oh um, just--” B.D. couldn’t help the giggle that wrested its way from her lungs. “I was just remembering how um, Raven seemed to want to--” Her giddy nerves flustered her into silence before she could finish the thought. Scorch’s raspy yet gentle laugh floated on the night air.
“Of course he wanted to, Belladonna, but it’s not time yet. That will come later, when you are Gifted.” B.D. cleared her throat and straightened her clothes before she spoke.
“Yeah, about that--”
“Not now, Bella,” Scorch interrupted, her voice stern but not menacing. “That too will come in time. Ah, we have arrived, no?” B.D. followed her gaze, and even though she couldn’t read the French, she recognized the sign of the hotel. She sighed.
“Yeah. Better get upstairs.”
“Oui. A bientôt, B.D., see you soon.” Scorch smiled and turned to leave. B.D. watched her, mesmerized by her movements once again. Blinking and shaking herself out of it, she gripped the door handle and stepped inside. Across the lobby, elevator up, and apparently no one noticed the young girl, or cared for the late hour of her return.
Sliding her keycard into the lock, B.D. hoped the gentle click wasn’t enough to wake her father. She eased to door open, greeted by darkness and silence. She slipped in, slipped her boots off, and slipped into the near bed, pulling the covers up tight. She hadn’t been dressed for the chill night air, and shivered for several moments before relaxing. She drifted off with Raven’s voice still singing in her head.
B.D. was groggy to rise at the sound of her father’s voice, and a bit perturbed with herself when she realized he was on the phone and not speaking to her. Coulda slept longer, ungh. Instead she stumbled her way into the shower and, after a good twenty minutes, set about selecting more appropriate attire for the French Autumn climate. Jacob had ordered room service, the arrival of which she’s apparently slept through. Scrambled eggs and sausage were the meal of choice for the morning, with a side of neglect, courtesy of her father. As soon as one phone call ended, another began, all technical jargon that bored the girl so much she considered that warm, tantalizing bed again.
Yep. Knew it. Doesn’t give a shit unless it affects work, B.D. thought in utter resentment. Wasn’t bad enough I had to lose Mom before I even knew her, was it? As if he’d heard her, Jacob looked up suddenly, and stammered to whomever was on the other end that he had to run. Snapping the cell phone closed, he sighed, lowering his gaze to the floor.
“B.D…. There’s no way around this… I’m sorry. I know I haven’t been a good parent. Or much of one at all, really. At least I kept you alive, right?” The ashamed laugh did nothing to lighten the air in the room. “Anyway, umm… By normal standards, you’re practically an adult. And let’s face it, you’ve been taking care of yourself for years anyway. And now you’ve got that redhead to hang out with, and she must be doing right by you for you to be out with her all night--”
“How do you know I didn’t ditch her?” B.D.’s eyes narrowed in suspicion.
“I was still up when you got back. I happened to look down to the street when the two of you walked up. That girl’s hair practically glows in the dark. But point is, you’re very independent. I can’t pretend I won’t… and haven’t… worried, but… dammit… I think it’s better for us both, if we try to lead our own lives.”