After school, Milo proceeded to launch into a speech about how I’m never home anymore and how Mom’s even starting to notice. At least he seemed to have forgotten entirely about the vampire conversation on the bus, which made me feel a little better.

I didn’t think that anybody would really care if I told Milo. I just figured that he’d probably have me locked away in a psych ward, and I’d never be able to see them again.

Good news. Peter and Ezra are on a business trip. Jack text messaged me, and Milo rolled his eyes.

“You know I really like Jack, but have you considered what this is doing to your school work?” Milo asked.

He sat at the kitchen table, working on some piece of homework, but I lay sprawled out on the couch half-asleep. My lack of nightly sleep was starting to result in afternoon naps.

“Nope!” I said.

Schoolwork didn’t really seem to matter anymore. It was starting to look like I’d probably marry into money, or maybe I’d just die. Either way, education didn’t seem that important.

Why is that good news? I messaged him back. Knowing that I wouldn’t see Peter hurt, but it was also a relief. I could only tolerate so many rebuffs.

We can hang out and I can take the Lamborghini. Are you game?

Definitely! I’ll meet you outside! Hurry! I responded and jumped up from the couch.

Milo started in with a lecture about school and sleep, but I didn’t even pretend to listen. After the stress of the past weekend, I could really just go for a night of silly Jack fun.

I burst outside just as the red car pulled up in front. Throwing open the car door, I leapt inside and smiled broadly at him. Jack laughed at my exuberance, and my heart swelled at the sound of it.

“You’re in a good mood today,” Jack grinned. We didn’t drive right away, and he just sat there for a minute looking at me. “What do you wanna do?”

“I don’t care! Just as long as we get there fast!” I said, and his eyes glimmered.

“You don’t have to tell me twice.” He threw the car into gear and we sped off so quickly, I pressed back against the seat.

Even though we’d just been in a car wreck, I still felt safe with him. After all, he had saved me from the crash, even if he had also been the cause of it.

“This weekend felt so long,” I said drearily.

“Tell me about it.” Jack was just as tired and frustrated as I was, and that was easy to forget.

Generally, I considered him to be a culprit in all of this, but he was just as much a pawn as I was. We were trapped in an unyielding battle with biology.

“I just want everything to go back to normal.” I had expected him to agree with me, but he just laughed.

“I’m assuming you mean normal in that you were running around with your new vampire best friend,” he smiled. “Yeah. Cause that’s the baseline for normal.”

“Well, it feels more normal than all this business about my blood being meant for Peter,” I muttered. “How is any part of me meant for anything? Who decided that?”

“I wish I knew.” His expression slacked for a second, but then he shook his head. “Look, let’s just not think about any of that. You look exhausted. Why don’t we just do something nice and relaxing this evening?”

“Like what?” I turned to face him and leaned my head against the seat

“How about we just go back to my house and watch a movie? I have like a million. I’m sure there’s a couple in there you’d be up to watching.”

“That sounds fantastic,” I admitted. The thought of spending the evening just curled up somewhere with Jack sounded positively wonderful. “How long are Ezra and Peter gone for?”

“I don’t know,” Jack shrugged. “Probably a week, I guess. Why?”

“What do they do? For business, I mean. How did they make all your money?” I had spent so much time talking about the preternatural that I never really had a chance to ask about the practical things, like how they supported themselves.

“Ezra’s been working for, you know, hundreds of years doing various things, so he managed to build up quite the nest egg before I was even born. Right now, they’re doing a lot of stocks and trading, and I just never bothered to follow.

“They own a couple companies overseas,” Jack explained. “Everything they do gets shifted and moved around all the time. They can’t stay with the same people for too long, or people’ll catch on that they haven’t aged.”

“Why don’t you have a job?” I asked.

“Cause I don’t really need to work. Whenever I find something that interests me, I do it, but we have plenty of money. Ezra and Peter don’t even have to work. But Ezra thinks that since we’re going to live forever, we might as well be prepared for it,” he shrugged, then looked over at me. “Why? Does it bother you that I don’t work?”

“No, I’m just curious about all the machinations of your life,” I said.

We reached his house, and he drove up into the driveway. Turning off the car, he grinned wickedly.

“Well, you know pretty much everything about my life.” He got out of the car, preparing to escape with that total fabrication of an answer.

“I know hardly anything about your life!” I scoffed, hurrying out after him.

“I’m a vampire and I drive too fast and I’m awesome on the Xbox.” He spread his arms expansively, as if that explained it all. “That’s all you really need to know about me.”