Vanessa's jaw dropped, and once again, her heart levitated into her throat. Did she even hear him correctly? What the hell did that mean? “You…what?”
“I know it’s a lot to take in right now, and you have a million reasons not to believe me. I mean, you could say I just lost my mind and I’m trying to conjure some wicked excuse as to why I just cut myself out of your life. But honest to God, I am telling you the truth.” Byron rambled.
Vanessa held up her hand to silence him, “Just shut up for a second please. I feel like I’m suddenly in some horror version of the Princess Diaries. Only I’m not a princess, you’re a vampire?” Byron stayed silent and allowed her to process which she needed. This wasn’t something you hear every day. This was something you hear on a bad reality show or something you read in a book. She never imagined after all they’d been through that he would one day look her in the eye and claim to have been turned into a vampire. It was the most ridiculous thing she’d ever heard.
The worst part about this moment was nothing could have prepared her for it. Out of all the scenarios that played through her mind as the reason for his absence, she could honestly say this was the last thing she expected to hear. The shock was apparently more stressful than she realized as it declared war on her stomach. She rushed into the bathroom and a fountain of everything she had to eat earlier that day sprung from her mouth and thankfully made it into the toilet.
Shock hasn’t done this to her since their parents died, and somehow it all felt like a sense of irony. The vampire legend was as old as time itself and they were known as the undead. The questions whirled out of control through her mind as she grabbed some toilet paper and wiped her nose and mouth. Byron stood in the doorway with a warm washcloth. He still wasn’t sure if he should speak or not. He opted to wait for her to be the one to say something.
“How?” Was the first one as Vanessa grabbed the cloth and wiped her face. “How did something like that happen?”
Byron extended his hand and helped her to her feet, “I’ll tell you everything. Just come sit with me.” He pleaded quietly.
Vanessa agreed to sit on the couch with him, a glass of ginger ale and some soda crackers in her hand. “How the hell did that come to your brain?”
“It didn’t come into my brain. It just happened.”
Vanessa looked into his eyes, “Just tell me everything. I’ll process as you go and double check I’m not having some nightmare.”
“It started when the guys and I decided to enter this night club called Lust. It seemed upbeat and exciting and everything I needed to get out of my own head. I already felt guilty for leaving you, but V I really needed to get away.”
“I know you did. I understood, I still do.”
Byron’s lips curled into a little smile, and he nodded. “That means a lot, but I still know where I should’ve been. For you. That aside, I met the owner. His name is Malik Cromwell. He seemed to take an interest in me and took me under his wing that night. He showed me around the club as if I were some VIP. Just as I started to get comfortable, we sat down to have a drink and the next thing I knew, I felt a sharp pain in my neck, and I collapsed. I woke up feeling this need to drink blood. Cliché, right?” he chuckled, “Malik broke it to me as plainly as I broke it to you. He looked at me and said ‘I’ve made you into a vampire Byron. I feel like you have something to offer me. I hope you live up to my expectations.”
“Wow, that’s no pressure at all.” Vanessa shook her head.
“I wasn’t sure what was ahead. All I knew was I had to call you while I still felt slightly myself and let you know that I love you and say goodbye.” Byron’s voice shook at his last words, and he wiped a few spilled tears. “I honestly didn’t think I would see you again, and I did the only thing I could do about it.”
It was Vanessa’s turn to wrap her arms around her brother and assure him that they did get to see each other again. There she was in New York with him, and she had no plans of leaving any earlier than she had to. The news left much to process still, but Vanessa had her big brother back, and in that moment, it was all that mattered. “So, this Malik…who is he?” she asked as she released him.
Byron’s gaze met hers once more, “He rules this city. He’s a pure blood vampire and a king.”
“This party you want to take Rylie and I to, will there be others there?”
“Of course. In fact, you do have to come, because Malik is throwing it for you.”
“Call it a ‘Welcome to my City’ party. Malik really wants to meet you, that is if he hasn’t already.”
Vanessa furrowed her brows, “What the hell does that mean?”
“That mysterious fog in the parking lot at the airport, that was him.”