making my way downtown

I’m so fucking hungover. I have never been so hungover in my life including last new years when we were all winnowed.

Also I feel… I don’t know, I feel weird it was a weird night I just — fuck ok

So after we left the vampire house on Monday I told Julian and Neal what the triplets were like and they thought it was fucking hilarious. Apparently young vampires have huge appetites and the triplets are being weaned off daily feeding right now, so they were like extra weird and spooky that day.

“Vampires get super bizarre when they don’t eat,” Neal explained. “They aren’t getting as much blood to their brains, so their bodies supply more venom to keep themselves functioning, but the problem is that… well, the venom makes them act less human than blood does.”

“They’ll feed tonight,” Julian said. “They’ll be less creepy tomorrow.”

And they were right. Yesterday when we got to the vampire house at dusk the triplets met me at the door, and they definitely seemed less likely to devour me. It was sort of weird though, they greeted me super enthusiastically, like hopping around and talking to me really quickly like we were old friends. You know how little kids will get super excited when you come over to babysit, even if you’ve only babysat them like once or twice? Same energy.

So we go back down to their bedroom, which, again, I can’t stress this enough — it’s literally 2003 in there. Don’t get me wrong, ya girl can get down to some Avril Lavigne and Vanessa Carlton but it was weird.

“This is so bogus,” said Jess, flicking through clothes in their closet to find something for me to wear. They were wearing these t-shirts with their names in bubble letters across the boobs so I could tell them apart. “Obviously they’re just testing us to see if we’re going to eat someone.”

Valentina, lounging in the hot pink armchair in the corner and flicking through her iPhone, added, “We’re not monsters. We have self control. Like obviously we’re not going to eat anyone.”

“Not unless they want us to,” said Caitlin, grinning.

Valentina’s acrylic nails made little tapping noises on her phone screen as she scrolled. Also, and I really think this is worth mentioning — she’d somehow managed to attach phone jewelry to her iPhone case? Like did she glue it? Idk but it was so tacky that it crossed over from tacky back to awesome.

Jess pulled out the ugliest fucking dress I’ve ever seen. White jersey tube top with like… a flapper skirt? It was horrifying. She said, “omg, this would be, like, perfect for you Shiloh.”

And because I’m sadistic, I said, “yeah, okay.”

I let them do my hair and makeup, too. Madelyn and I used to do makeovers when we were little, and for school dances and whatever, so it’s not like I’m foreign to the girls-making-each-other-pretty genre of feminine bonding. But still, there was definitely something like… intimate about Jess leaning down close to me, tickling my face with brushes and powders. They passed around a bottle of peach schnapps and discussed make-up theory in great detail. At one point Jess said, “god you smell so good.”

Now looking back, I definitely know she was talking to me the way I might talk to, say, a lasagna. But at the time I felt that little rustle of butterflies as she studied my mouth, running a wand of gloss over my lower lip, biting her own in concentration.

It was pretty soon after that that the alarms started going off in my head: I’M TOO GAY FOR THIS. But it was too late. Jess was smiling and pulling me in front of the mirror to see myself.

I looked ridiculous of course. That horrible dress, pink platform strappy sandals, sticky lip gloss that made my lips tingle. They’d straightened my hair board straight. Look I’ve seen Mean Girls. I get it. I still looked terrible.

The triplets disagreed. “Omg you look amaaazinngggg,” they cooed. We all posed in the mirror for photos. Apparently the whole no reflections, no photos for vampires thing is a myth, because we took like a thousand photos complete with coordinated poses and gestures. It was embarrassing but I was sort of caught up in the fun of it, you know? It all felt surreal.

I’d been so involved with the dress-up aspect that I sorta forgot that I was gonna have to leave the room, but eventually we did have to go rejoin the others. Neal about cracked a rib trying not to laugh at me.

And then off we went. The Hawthornes pulled me aside before we left and basically gave me the dad speech. Keep your phone on, if we get separated meet back at the car, keep an eye on my drinks, don’t drink too much blah blah blah.

There was a limo waiting for us outside the vampire house. I climbed into the back with the triplets, and a few of the other vampires and the Hawthornes all joined as well.

I was already sort of buzzed from the schnapps but I was hot and thirsty so when Jess popped champagne I drank it like it was water. After that everything goes sort of blurry.

We went to a few different clubs, but they all sort of blurred together. You know. Low lights, loud music. In the mansion the triplets had seemed sort of tragically out of sync with current fashion but now that we were out I understood that it didn’t matter what they wore. No mere mortal being could compare to these creatures and I was just lucky to be a part of their circle for the night.

We danced. It was fun. I never imagined I’d be the sort of person who bypassed lines and walked right into exclusive LA clubs but here I was, taking vodka shots and dancing between Jess and Valentina and making sultry eye contact with sleazy, coked-out LA dudes across the dance floor.

“He’s looking at you,” Jess shouted in my ear, gesturing over my head. My drunk ass barely even looked at the guy. I didn’t care about the guy. It was Jess that I was dancing with, Jess who smelled like vanilla and jasmine, who’s hair kept fluttering against my neck.

“Let’s get him to come over here,” she said, and I said “What?” and then she kissed me.

Nevermind that it’s 2019 and we don’t make out with girls to get guys attention anymore. Like literally that is the most 2002 thinking on this earth. And as if to prove my point that guy looked sorta sheepish and disappointed and turned back to his drink. I didn’t care obviously, because I’m a real actual bi and I didn’t want that crusty dude coming over anyways. Jess tasted like peach schnapps and idk drugs or something. It must be a vampire thing.

“Huh,” Jess said. “That always used to work.” And then she kissed me again which was siiiick.

Then things get a little fuzzy. I’m not really sure how we ended up in the alley behind the club. We were both sorta stumbling and sloppy and making out. Jess’ heels made loud clicking sounds on the concrete.

Jess pulled away briefly and said, “can I bite you?”

“…like…drink my blood?” I asked and she grinned, showing teeth.

“Yeah,” she said. “Is that okay?”

“Uhh,” I began, shrinking back against the alley wall and she laughed.

“No, I won’t hurt you,” she said. “Just a little bite. I’ll get a little taste, and you’ll get some venom. It feels awesome. Best high of your life.”

I knew it was a bad idea. I could practically hear the Hawthornes in my head being like the fuck Shiloh, absolutely not. But Jess was really tall and her lipgloss was super sticky and I was curious. How often do you get the chance to be bitten by a vampire? Also — and I really can’t stress this enough — I was drunk. I mean WASTED.

“Okay,” I said and Jess leaned down to kiss my shoulder. I felt just the slightest prick. And then, a feeling like falling through water.

“Whoa,” I said. Jess laughed.

It literally was the best high of my life. I can’t even describe it. It was like floating with sun shining on your face. But then, distantly, I felt my knees buckle.

“Wait,” I said. I had my hand on her shoulder and I gave her a little push. “Stop,” I said. And maybe she didn’t hear me? Or maybe I wasn’t as insistent as I thought I was being? I don’t know, but one way or another she didn’t stop. Well, I mean she did eventually, I’m not dead. It’s just that like, for a minute there I really realized that like I wasn’t in control of what was going on and it was sort of scary. K it was really scary. I literally wondered if maybe I should be fighting harder, realized there was nothing I could do, thought, not as bad as last time I died, definitely better than last time.

But then a door opened down the alley from us and she stopped. She wiped my blood off her lip and sucked it off her finger. She still had me pinned up against the alley-wall, like we were just two girls kissing outside the club.

“Amazing, right?” she said. She laughed and flung her head back. “I love being a vampire!” she shouted and I put a clumsy hand over her mouth, trying to shush her, and when she released me my legs gave out and I landed on my butt in the alley. Jess lurched to catch me too late.

“Are you okay?” she asked. She was smiling very wide and my blood was still in her teeth.

That’s the last thing I remember until hours later. We were in the limo again. I was leaning on Jess and laughing a lot. Leopold was saying he could drop us off at our hotel, and I was wailing that I wanted to spend the night with the triplets. Some time after that I remember getting into that gigantic bed with them. I remember lying there with my head on the crook of Jess’ elbow. I remember her sighing and saying, “can you believe that we’re going to see mom and dad this week?”

“I can’t believe it,” said Valentina.

“I miss them so much,” Caitlin added.

Then I fell asleep. And now I’m just like the most hungover person who has ever existed. I feel so fucking sick. Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh

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