The heels of my boots click against the pavement in a rhythm that matches my anger. Alone. In a strange city. Bryce and I obviously have deeper problems than financial ones if he’s just willing to ditch me like this.
It was a vacation, our little escape to Las Vegas. I had no idea he had a gambling problem until the casino had Bryce removed from the gaming floors. He’d already maxed out our credit cards. And sold our plane tickets. And god knows what mess is waiting for me at home.
“Lady, free show! Free drink!”
There are about a million people like this on The Strip, passing out fliers. I’ve been dodging all of them, but one of them stuffs a flier into my hand before I can make my hand a fist.
A free drink, huh? I might have to take advantage. Something to mellow me out just until I get a plan. The show is at Bally’s, which is just down the street. Nowhere else to go.
Vampyres and Demons. I shrug when I see the marquee on the theater. I’m not about to be picky. I wave the flier at the redhead with bright lipstick who’s standing by the doors.
“Is it okay if I go in?” I ask. “I’m a little early.”
“Sure, why not?” she says, barely looking up from her iPhone.
I welcome the theater’s darkness. It’s an intimate venue, with small tables that can seat no more than two. I’m the first one here and sit at one of the tables, resting my head on my arms. Like I’m back in grade school. Willing life to be that simple again. It’s cold in here, and I breathe the chilly air, in and out. I try to formulate a plan that won’t involve calling my dad. Dad always hated Bryce...
I suddenly shiver. They must have the air on. It’s December, for Christ’s sake.
“May I join you?”
My head jerks up, and I draw in my breath. A man, beautiful, tall, and blonde, his eyes luminous in the reflection of the light. He’s gesturing to the empty seat across from me, and I nod mutely. Oh, what I would give to have Bryce walk in to this same theater... The pain hits me hard for the first time. Bryce. Twelve years together. So much history. Too many secrets...
“Amanda,” he says, leaning across the table towards me. “Let me help you.”
I gape at him. How does he know my name?
I freeze as he takes my hands. The cold becomes unbearable, and I watch as the mist swirls around us. Black mist, cold, but... I’m warm again. We’re upright now, standing, my body pressed up against his, his lips against my neck. I stiffen as his teeth pierce through my flesh. He’s drawing the blood out of me faster than my heart can beat. I struggle against steel, but I can’t move. And I’m suddenly fiercely happy that I’m…nowhere.