“That was my reaction at first, too,” he grinned.

“I think that was everyone’s,” Mae agreed.

“But … this is a normal house. I mean, it’s really nice, but it’s normal. And you guys are just like a family. And you-” I pointed at Jack. “-you sit around playing video games all day. In a house the suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota? Come on. Vampires are cooler than that.”

“Thanks a lot,” Jack laughed loudly.

“Well, you know what I mean. You guys have eternity, and you spend it like this?”

“Exactly. We have forever. How would you spend it?” Jack cocked his head at me.

“I don’t know,” I admitted. I had never really thought of it before. Trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my measly little human life had always seemed like enough. “But something more glamorous than this.”

“Peter and Ezra have seen everything, at least a hundred times, and Mae doesn’t really wanna go anywhere,” Jack shrugged. “I mean, I’ve traveled a little bit, but I’m not in any rush. I’ll be able to see it all one day. I went to the pyramids with Peter a couple years ago.” He rolled his eyes. “He’s been there like thirty times. He’s like ‘oh big triangles in the sand, whoopee.’ So that was kind of the end of my traveling, for now, at least.”

“So you just sit here and play video games?” I asked incredulously.

“What do you expect us to do?” Jack laughed. “We just have more time than you. What do you do with your life?”

“I don’t know.” I lowered my eyes and thought about it. “This all just seems weird to me.”

“Of course it does, love.” Mae gently stroked my hair. “It’s a lot to take in.”

“You guys aren’t gonna eat me, are you?” I didn’t sound afraid, because I wasn’t. I was merely curious, and Mae laughed.

“No, of course not,” she smiled reassuringly at me.

“But Peter wanted to last night,” I pointed out. “And Jack really wanted to tonight, before the car crash.”

“Jack!” Mae gasped, glaring over at him. Funny, she didn’t look even remotely appalled when I told her Peter wanted to.

“I did not!” Jack insisted, but he was a bad liar.

“Jack, you know you can’t do that,” Mae growled, and I wondered what the big deal was. They said that when they bit people it didn’t hurt and it didn’t kill them. So what did it really matter if Jack bit me?

“It wasn’t my fault!” Jack said defensively. “She was getting all crazy thinking about Peter. And you know what? I didn’t bite her. So. You can just wipe that look off your face.”

“Why does thinking about Peter make me more delectable?” I asked, and they both lowered their eyes. “Come on! I know you’re vampires! What’s left?”

“Delectable,” Jack mused. “That’s a very good way to describe it.”

“Why are you even telling me this?” I narrowed my eyes at them. “Why did you tell me you were vampires? Isn’t it like some big secret or something?”

“Hardly,” Jack snorted. “I hate it that in movies when they’re all like, you can’t tell anyone that we’re vampires or the high council of snooty vampires will kill us all! There’s no high council. There’s not a big vampire society. There isn’t one council governing every human on earth.

“And you know what?” Jack continued. “People don’t believe in vampires. Do you think that we have to hide anything about us? Did I ever really try to hide anything with you?”

“No, but you wouldn’t tell me things,” I told him pointedly.

“Yeah, cause I liked you. The first day we met, if I had told you that I was a vampire, you would’ve thought I was insane and wrote me off.”

“Why did it take so long for you to tell me?”

“I wanted to make sure you trusted me, so you wouldn’t just think I was insane and never want to talk me again.” Then he got a pained expression on his face and sighed. “I was gonna tell you that night in the park. Then that stuff happened with that damn dog. And you got so upset when I killed it, and I thought if you react like that to me hurting a dog, how are you gonna feel when you find out that I bite people?”

“Oh.” I thought back to that night, and I remembered the way he had threatened to end our friendship because I was crying. It had seemed rather harsh at the time, but in retrospect, that must’ve killed him. “Well, I know now. And I don’t think you’re a monster.”

“Good.” Jack was genuinely relieved. He rubbed his bare skin. “I’m gonna go put on a shirt. I’ll be right back.” Jack darted out of the kitchen and I heard his feet pounding up the stairs.

“You doing okay with all of this?” Mae looked at me earnestly, and I nodded. She touched my cheek gently, cupping my face, and then kissed my forehead. “Good. Did you need more water?”

“Yeah, sure,” I nodded, and she picked up my glass and took it over to the fridge to refill it. “There’s just one thing that’s bothering me.” That was a lie. There were about fifty things bothering me, but there was only one that I wouldn’t let go for tonight.

“And what’s that, love?” She brought the glass of water back of to me, looking curious.