You don’t know how relieved I am to see you again, Ben, he said, kissing the top of my head.
Perhaps you’ll be desperate enough in a few days of trying to survive alone by yourself… Remember, the trick is to stop before you feel you’ve started. I looked at him in confusion.Before I could ask him anything else, he bent down, picked up the human again, and followed the others.
I stared after them as the group disappeared into the trees.I had no idea where they were heading.And I had no idea what I would do now that I’d been left alone again.
I breathed more freely as they rushed off, the scent of human blood becoming fainter and fainter.But I was beginning to feel the burning again.
The agony I’d endured in the sun had taken a lot out of me.
Once they’d disappeared, I looked down at the phone, then slipped it into my pocket.I glanced away to play a few notes for the sound guy, but I felt Rachel’s gaze, so I looked up. It was apparent she and my mom were talking about me, gesturing, smirking, and laughing. I just grinned and shook my head.
A few minutes later, Cameron announced the first number, and I got lost in the music. That’s how it’d always been for me, no matter what kind of band I’d played in. It was like a release of endorphins and always so damn liberating.The next time I looked out at the audience, the landscape had changed. The bar was packed and there were certainly more couples interspersed with the usual groups of rowdy guys and girls. My father seemed to be making the rounds, speaking to different tables. For all I knew, he was surveying them, asking if they were enjoying themselves.
When I searched for Rachel, my eyes immediately zeroed in on some dude in the seat next to her, running his mouth and motioning with his hands. I tried to keep my reaction neutral. I should have been surprised she hadn’t been hit on sooner. But maybe I’d been giving off a don’t-touch-her-she’s-mine vibe.Dakota was watching me, so I motioned to Rachel and her admirer, and she wiggled her eyebrows. Must have been the co-worker she was talking about setting Rachel up with. I nodded my approval, even though it took everything in my power not to throw down my instrument and knock the dude on his ass.