"Me too...But you were in love."

"Yes. I've loved Alexander since the first moment I saw him," I said truthfully.

"He is gorgeous." Then she whispered, as if she were sharing a secret, "I had a fling."

"Who was he?" "An acquaintance of Jagger's. I barely knew him. But he had a chiseled chin and a ripped chest. Deep blue eyes and spiky red hair like fire. He took me to a warehouse. We made out for a while, his lips were like velvet. And before I knew it, he had bitten me."

"Wow," I said, hanging on her every word.

"We were on unsacred ground, so we were not bonded for eternity. I never saw him again."

"That's so sad," I lamented, honestly feeling sorry for her.

"You were lucky; you found Alexander. So you see how important Trevor is to me. When Jagger introduced us and I stared into his heavenly green eyes, I immediately felt a connection. Not only is he handsome and athletic, but as I got to know him, I sensed that he had everything he could ever want but true love. This is what drew me to him. I'm looking for someone to quench my thirst--for all eternity." She fingered the pink amulet. "Jagger has different needs than I do. He hungers for the hunt, lusts for new prey. Finds ecstasy in the transformation of an innocent mortal into a bloodthirsty vampire. But for me, these bottles are growing quite tiresome. The hunt isn't sustaining me. It's flowing blood that I really crave. The sweet taste of red succulent liquid mixing with the salt of my beloved as it drips and dances on his flesh. To know that someone will ache for me as much as I hunger for him and eternally satiate each other. I want someone to satisfy my hunger forever."

"But Trevor's not good enough. You deserve better," I said earnestly.

She looked at me skeptically.

"You need someone who is intelligent. Sensitive. Mature. Courageous."

"He is those things. You don't know him the way I know him."

I knew I should go, that Alexander must be waiting at the cemetery wondering why I hadn't shown. At the same time, there was so much I wanted to know about Luna, about being turned, about becoming a modern-day vampiress. There was so much I wanted to know for myself. And I didn't know when I'd get another chance.

"Do you like being a vampire?" I asked, now the one riveted.

"I've waited for it all my life. Everyone in my immediate family is a vampire. When my younger brother, Valentine, was born, I dreamed that he would be mortal, like me. But when he wasn't, I cursed the day he was born. The last mortal in my family tree was my great-great grandmother, and I never even knew her. I spent my whole life living in the daylight while the rest of my family slept. I was never part of their world."

"How did you cope all alone?" I wondered.

"I tried to mask it by being a bubbly straight-A student, becoming popular with the kids at school. It put a strain on Jagger's and my relationship. I was jealous of Jagger and he was of me."

"Really? I can't imagine Jagger being jealous of anyone."

"I could see it in his face every time he awoke from his coffin. We had only a few hours together before I had to get to sleep. We'd sit in my bright pink room and I'd share every detail of my events that day at school."

"Who would want to go to school?" I asked.

"Jagger was especially interested in sports. In Europe, soccer is huge. He dreamed of being what he couldn't be--a soccer star. He would show up at night games, hungry to be a player instead of a spectator. But to the students he was odd--a kid who never went to school, was pale and skinny, and dressed like a freak. He was never included. Now he watches Trevor play soccer, wishing he had that life. I think that's why he wants Trevor for me."

For a moment Jagger and Luna weren't vampires but just teens like me who were tired of being outsiders. "How do you like being a vampire?" she asked.

"Uh...I love it," I fibbed.

"But now you're different from your entire family."

"If you'd ever seen my family, you'd know I always was," I said with a laugh.

Luna laughed, too. It was like we'd known each other for years instead of only a few minutes.

"My little brother is a total nerdo," I said, desperate to share my life with her.

"How old is he?"


"So is Valentine! It's so refreshing to meet someone like you. You understand what it means to live in both worlds but beg for the darker one."

Luna pulled out a Pinky Paranoid clutch purse from behind the basket. "Want some candy?" she asked, handing me a Dynamite Mint.

I nodded and unwrapped the candy as she took out a hair brush. "Tell me about Alexander," she said, inching next to me. She began to brush my hair, as if we'd been soul sisters for years. I felt uncomfortable, as this girly behavior seemed straight out of a Gidget movie. Teens around Dullsville were never seen brushing one another's hair. Luna, however, was much more fairylike than any girl I'd ever met. I felt almost hypnotized and relaxed as she smoothed out my hair, opposite of the way I felt when I was a child and my mom ran a fine-toothed comb through my tangles.

"Alexander's so dreamy. His eyes are like milk chocolates. His attic room is filled with portraits he's painted of me and his family," I rattled on like a drippy girl, then changed my tone. "But it's hard sometimes," I confessed. "I want to share our reflections. I want to have a photo of us on my night stand."

"Yes, it does have its drawbacks. But it's a small price to pay for an eternity together."

Luna pulled my hair off my shoulder and began to braid it.

"Where is the wound from Alexander's bite?" she asked curiously...I quickly covered my neck with my hand.

She released my hair and raised her white, luxurious locks, exposing two round purple marks on her skinny pale neck.

"They say it takes a year to go away," she said. "I hope it stays there forever."

"Uh...it's not on my neck," I teased.

"You are wicked!" she said with a smile, but then turned serious. "I could have sworn Jagger said he saw Alexander bite you on your neck."

"I really have to go," I said, getting up. "Alexander will be worried."

I climbed offstage.

"Wanna hang out again tomorrow?" she asked, following me. "We can meet at sunset."

"I have plans with Alexander," I said, walking up the aisle.

"Then the next night?"

"I'll see," I said, grabbing my bike.

"Why do you need to ride here when you could fly?"

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