I was having this conversation because it was like when I had a dream and everyone was made of cotton candy or something. I just kinda went along with it. Once I suspended my belief, I just had to go with the flow and pretend like everything made sense.
“Yeah.” He nodded.
“So what does that mean? He bit you?” Just the thought of Peter biting anyone made my heart rate speed up. That’s what he’d been trying to do when I was in his room, and even now, knowing exactly what he meant to do, it somehow made me want him more.
“No, biting doesn’t do anything,” Jack shook his head, but he raised an eyebrow and gave me an odd look. Then it dawned on me.
“You can hear my heartbeat,” I said. When we had been in the car, right before the accident, my heart had been racing like mad because I was thinking about Peter, and it had been distracting Jack.
“And when you…” Jack’s expression changed, and he looked away from me, but I could already feel his desire.
“You’re thinking of Peter,” Mae caught Jack’s response. My cheeks reddened, because it was so embarrassing that the vampires find out that I have a crush on one of them. That was my big concern right now. “You release a kind of pheromone when you’re… ready. I don’t know how to explain it.”
“It entices us to bite you,” Jack said bluntly.
My heart had slowed, but he still looked strained. Meanwhile, Mae didn’t look effected by it at all.
“So… is it just when I think about Peter? Or when I think about… anything like that?”
“Ezra is will have to explain all that,” Mae said suddenly. Jack had looked as if he was about to say something, but she cut him off.
“So how do you turn into a vampire then?” I returned to the topic we’d been on before I’d distracted them with my beating heart.
“I drank Peter’s blood. So it’s Peter’s blood, and Ezra’s blood, mixed with my blood coursing through my veins.” Jack gestured to his arms, as if I could see through his skin to his veins. “It’s not like a father-son thing, because it’s not part of who they are. It is who they are. My blood is their blood.”
“Does that actually have any bearing on who you are?” I leaned on the island, looking intently at him. I was starting to give myself to their fantasy completely, and I was interested in them as if I actually believed.
“They don’t define my personality.” Jack looked over at Mae, who nodded at him. “But we… Remember when you first came over to meet them and I said that I knew Peter and Ezra would like you? It was because I liked you.”
“So they’ll like whoever you like?” I was skeptical, because Peter still didn’t like me.
“No, no, that’s not it either.” Jack sighed, and he debated how much he was going to tell me. I didn’t understand what he could still possibly be hiding from since he’d confessed vampirism. “Because I don’t just like you. My blood likes you.”
“Okay, what the hell does that mean?” I actually leaned away from him a little bit, and I’m sure I looked afraid.
“Jack, maybe Ezra would be better suited to talk about that,” Mae gave him an even glare, and he lowered his eyes. Then she turned back to me, smiling warmly. “Ezra really is a bit of an expert on everything. Jack and I still have so much left to learn.”
“You guys aren’t really vampires, are you?” I asked apprehensively, and Mae laughed.
“Oh, love, I’m sorry, but we are.” She tucked a strand of hair back behind my ear, and since I didn’t push her away or flinch, she smiled.
“But you guys don’t sleep in coffins or have fangs and you’re not pale.” I said, then quickly corrected myself. “Well, except for Mae, but even she’s not that pale.”
“We kind of have fangs.” Jack opened his mouth wide and ran his tongue along his teeth, emphasizing the pointed incisors. They weren’t longer or bigger than any other teeth I had seen, but they did look awfully sharp.
“And coffins are just a ridiculous legend. Beds are much more comfortable.” Mae scoffed at the notion.
“But you’re tan. You can’t go in the sun! Wait, can you go in the sun?”
“We can, in fact, but we don’t usually,” Jack continued. “The sun kind of makes us tired, but we won’t burst into flames or die or anything like that.”
“That doesn’t explain the tan,” I pointed out.
“We don’t change from when we were turned, and I skateboarded a lot so I was out in the sun. When I turned, my skin was full of melanin, and now it always will be.” Jack thought about it for a moment, then corrected himself. “We do change a bit. We improve. I wasn’t quite this handsome, and I had more of a farmer’s tan. But somehow, it evens things and smoothes everything, like gleaning off any fat I had. It’s impossible for a vampire to be overweight. We no longer require the storage of anything, so it all dissolves pretty quickly after the turn.”
“We drink our blood, so it’s more fat-free,” Mae added.
“You drink blood.” Until then, I had been trying hard not to really think of it.
When I thought of Peter biting me, it had more been about the feeling of everything, and not about the actual act of him drinking my blood. It was almost impossible to imagine Mae or Jack doing it.
“It is a necessity,” Mae whispered sadly.