Marcie had talked non-stop since we left work. She was excited for me to meet her new boyfriend, but her voice was grating on my last nerve. Maybe at the next red light, I would jump out of the car and make my escape.
No, I promised to go out for drinks and to meet Tobias. It wasn’t like there was anything else to do at this time of night. Working the night shift put a damper on social life.
“Chloe, are you listening to me?” Marcie nudged me in the arm.
“I’m listening,” I said.
"Then quit digging around in your purse and pay attention."
“You were telling me how Tobias might be the one. How much do you know about Tobias?”
Marcie was a little naïve with men. She had a nasty habit of falling for the wrong guys. She had her heart broken more than once since I met her.
“I know you’re going to like him,” she said, “he’s perfect. Don’t be jealous.”
“Not jealous, just curious. I can’t wait to meet him,” I said, pretending to check my makeup in the visor light.
“Did I tell you what he did for our first date?”
“He took you on a picnic.” I tried to sound interested.
She had told me the story of their first date at least twenty times. They had only been dating for a few weeks. Something made me question how much Marcie knew about this guy. It didn’t feel right, but I tried to be supportive.
Marcie had been my best friend for five years. She was the first real friend I had made in years. I felt comfortable around her. The one thing about Marcie, she was theatrical. Every aspect of her life played out like a soap opera in her mind.
Marcie kept talking. I don’t think she took a breath for five minutes. I zoned out for the rest of the ride. It was half-past midnight when we got to the club. The parking lot was full of cars.
“Tobias is already here.” Marcie squealed like a two-year-old as she parked beside a jet black motorcycle.
“Let me guess, Tobias rides a motorcycle,” I said. It came out more snarky than I had intended.
“Get out, come on, hurry.” Marcie slammed the car door and sprinted towards the building.
“Maybe wait for me.”
An icy chill ran up my spine when we got to the door. It was a familiar chill, but one that I hadn’t felt in years. The night was about to get interesting.
As soon as we entered the club, a guy from work grabbed my arm and wanted to dance. Marcie kept going, and I lost sight of her. I graciously turned the guy down and went to find my friend.
I saw Marcie bouncing and waving her hand frantically. I made my way to the table. When I got close, the hair on my arms tingled, it was like a jolt of electricity had run through my body.
“Chloe, this is Tobias,” said Marcie. Her grin was so big, it looked liked it hurt.
The tall, dark-haired man turned to greet me. I saw his jaw clench when our eyes met.
“Tobias, this is Chloe, my best friend I told you about,” said Marcie, unaware of the tension.
“Tobias, great to meet you,” I said, forcing a smile, “Marcie talks about you all the time.”
“So your Marcie’s best friend,” said Tobias, not missing a beat, “nice to meet you.”
How could the arrogant bastard stand there and act so nonchalant? The last time we saw each other, I had nearly killed him. That was a lifetime ago, and his name was Luka.
Memories of the first time I met Luka flooded my mind. He still looked the same. Any woman would have fallen for a man like Luka. He charmed his victims in an irresistible way. I should have killed him when I had the chance.
I never imagined he would show up in the same city or get involved with the only person I had trusted in over a hundred years. Marcie was innocent in all of this and I intended to keep it that way.
“Let’s get some drinks,” said Marcie, ignorant of the situation, “it’ll be quicker if we just go to the bar.”
“I’ll go get them. Tell me what you guys want,” I said, wanting to get away from Tobias.
“No, stay here, I’ll go order,” said Marcie, “I want you two to get acquainted.”
There was no way to keep up the pretense. I would have to confront Luka—Tobias, whatever he called himself nowadays—or make Marcie realize that he was no good for her. Either way, I risked losing my friend. It was a chance I had to take to save her life.
Once Marcie was out of earshot, I turned to Luka.
“So it’s Tobias now. What the hell are you doing here?” I snarled.
“Chloe is it,” he said, mockingly, “or should I call you Ana?”
“What are you doing here, Luka,” I asked, my patience wearing thin, “and why are you with Marcie?”
“Oh my dear Ana, are you upset at me for leaving you,” he said, “or are you afraid of
losing your only friend?”
“I will kill you, Luka. I won’t let you turn Marcie.”
“Don’t you want a friend to spend eternity with my dear Ana?”
“This isn’t over Luka,” I growled.
Marcie came back to the table with the drinks. I cut the conversation with Luka, aka Tobias, short.
“I’m glad to see the two of you getting along,” said Marcie. “What have you been talking about?”
“Just small talk,” I said, “come to find out we have a lot in common.”
"Yeah, Chloe was telling me about visiting Greece," said Tobias, "the same small town where I grew up."
"Really," said Marcie, "I never knew you had been to Greece, Chloe."
"It was a long time ago," I said, "with my parents."
I glared at Luka. He had killed my parents and forced me to become this aberration. He drew me in with his charm. I was not given a choice for my turning. He took my humanity with force and savagery. I hated him with every fiber of my being.
"That's fascinating," said Marcie, "what are the odds?"
"Oh, I would say not that slim," said Luka, shooting me a toothsome smile.
I had to convince Marcie to leave. The longer we stayed, the more chances Luka would have to expose the truth.
"Marcie, I'm sorry, but I'm not feeling so good," I said, rubbing my forehead, "I've got a terrible headache. Would you be mad if we called it a night?"
"Maybe we can do something tomorrow night," said Tobias, giving Marcie a soft kiss on the hand, "something special, just the two of us."
"I told Chloe you were perfect," said Marcie.
All I wanted to do was rip his throat out. He was not going to turn Marcie and destroy her life like he had mine. I would end this tonight.
Marcie and Tobias walked ahead of me to the car. I had to make a move. I broke one of the wooden railings from the stairs leading into the club. Two hundred years of anger and fury rushed over me. I grabbed Marcie and pushed her away from Luka.
"Chloe, what are you doing?" she screamed. I saw the terror in her eyes as she stood paralyzed by fear.
"Marcie, get out of here," I yelled out to her.
Luka turned his rage on me. His fangs ripped into my flesh. He was stronger, but I was faster. With one swift move, I plunged the wooden railing deep into his chest. I watched as Luka turned to dust.
Marcie cowered beside the car, too afraid to run. I couldn't let her remember this night. I couldn't let her remember me as the monster she saw when I killed Luka.
With the power given to me, I put Marcie in a trance. I hypnotized her and compelled her to forget what had occurred. She would only remember that we had a good time at the club and that Tobias promised to see her the next day.
I drove Marcie home that night. I let her believe she passed out and hit her head. Marcie never forgave Tobias for leaving without an explanation. Her heart was broken, but I had saved my friend from a life of torment.