I watched them scramble to their places. Amy put down her back pack, and fixed her hair, heading towards her entrance. In the chaos, her phone rang, and although I should have scolded her, I let her answer it. At the moment, I was so happy to be able to perform with her; to still have her that I couldn’t have denied her anything.
“Hello? Yes? Wait, what? What? One second,” she turned back to me, and held the phone out, confused. “It’s for you.”
“Now what?” I sighed, going towards her and taking the phone. I didn’t recognize the number, but I assumed it was one of Shannon’s people. Seems like I had turned my phone off at exactly the right time.
“Hello?” I asked, and an unfamiliar voice spoke to me.
“Is this the same Liam that is in charge of the Leopard Spot Academy?”
“Liam, Porsche has listed you as her emergency contact. My name is Chelsea, and I work for Norfinch Health Care. She was admitted today after a fall at work.”
“Oh God,” I ducked behind the curtain. “Is she ok?” I knew that sending Porsche off to her own rehearsal after being up all night was not a good idea, but she had insisted.
“It appears she has a bacterial infection. She’s on IV antibiotics right now, and she’s asleep, but we thought her contacts should be notified. Visiting hours are from 5-7pm today and she should be awake by then. Her condition is serious, but stable.”
“I’ll be there. Please, you can call me on this number if there’s any news,” I said, biting my lip with worry. “Is she…going to be ok?”
The nurse sighed, and I could hear her clicking away at her computer.
“But also serious,” I said, my heart hammering in my chest. Could anything else possibly go wrong today? “Please, tell me the truth.”
There was a silence on the other end of the phone, and then Chelsea spoke.
The words hit me like a sledgehammer. Amy was beside me, taking my hand, wrapping her arms around me as I managed to hang up the phone. Just as I had been able to guess Deon’s news from years of experience, she could guess the information on the phone from her own years. She held me tight as I tried to get hold of my emotions.
“You can go to her,” she said, softly, but I shook my head, wiping my eyes.
“No. Porsche’s a theater addict, she’d kill me I interrupted rehearsal. Visiting hours are from 5-7, we can go after. Will you…will you come with me?” I asked, and she nodded, reaching up to wipe a tear away from my face. I hadn’t realized my eyes were leaking until then and I struggled to get it under control.
“Of course,” She said, and then our lips met.
The kiss was soft, and slow, yet needed. I didn’t want to break apart from her, and it seemed we were clinging onto each other out of necessity. I wanted her; I wanted her so badly that my muscles ached. More than anything, I wanted to forget the pain and get lost in the pleasure of her body. But now was not the time or place. Finally, we pulled apart, and my forehead rested on hers.
“It’s ok, isn’t it?” she asked. “I mean…you made a promise, to Porsche.”
“I did,” I nodded. “But I’ll mourn the human part of her all the time. This life, Amy, this life is a curse and why she wants it is beyond me.”
“To live,” she whispered. “She wants to live.”
I could hear Amy’s own heartbeat, loud in her chest, and feel her own warm skin against mine. It nearly broke my heart; that this beautiful young girl that I had come to fall in love with wanted to live just as badly. And here I was, handed immortality and I didn’t want it.
Amy’s arms squeezed my torso tightly, and I held on to her for all it was worth. I wanted her, above all else, and I had to keep her safe. If I was going to be alone for all eternity, I wanted her with me as long as I could have her.
I was nervous before I even fully opened my eyes. My alarm hadn’t gone off yet, but I knew I couldn’t sleep any longer. It was much later than normal, nearly 11am. It was opening day and in a few hours, I would be on stage, beside Liam.
The last few days had been exhausting. Between Deon quitting, Gatsby rehearsal, and Porsche, I was tired. She had spent the last few days in hospital, barely waking long enough to say hello. And I had no doubts, when she was finally released, that it wouldn’t be for long.
She hadn’t even wanted to be admitted, insisting it was useless. Liam had protested, and as usual, he got his way. I knew she was delaying her transformation for our safety. Liam was sure she wouldn’t be a Shield after her descent into vampirism. But all of it was still hard to watch, and just added to the stress of opening night.
I had the day off from Gatsby today, so I could be prepared for tonight. At 2pm, we had a press conference at the school, for Liam and I, and then at 6, a photo shoot before the curtain went up at 8pm. I was trying to stay calm, but nothing was working. Liam had walked me through every step of the day, explaining what to do and what not to do. He reminded me to breathe, and to say nothing that I didn’t want the whole world to know. There was apparently no such thing as “off the record”, and I wasn’t to trust any reporter, which made sense to me. But even with all of his instruction, I was still glad he was going to be beside me the whole time. Especially with the media frenzy surrounding the fact that he was going to be doing all the shows now, not just the one. The remainder of our shows had been sold out and there was a waiting list. It made me nervous and excited all at the same time.
Getting up, I headed for the shower, checking my phone on the way. There were about 50 Good Luck texts from my friends, and smiley faces. Last night, Dad and I had dinner at home. It was a nice break from the chaos that was surrounding me. He had told me he was proud of me, and wished me luck, which was music to my ears. I knew he thought acting was a risky career, but with Liam’s help, I felt like I could fly.
Except all that would be over soon. I tried to push that thought away as I got into the shower. I vowed to enjoy this day for all it was worth, and when the time came, I would face what I needed to.
I took extra care in the shower to make sure everything was shaved, washed, and clean. I scrubbed my face three times, and shampooed my hair twice, and then blow dried it with a round brush, something I had done about twice in my life. I was going to get my makeup done in the theater before the press conference, so I didn’t have to worry about it.
I chose tight jeans and boots, with a tunic shirt that belted at my waist. Satisfied with my appearance in the mirror, I picked up my purse, and slipped out the door, my heart beating fast.
“Ammmmmmyyyyy.” I wasn’t out the door five seconds when one of my floor mates, Charisma, attacked me with a hug. “Are you excited?”
“I feel more like puking, but I hear that’s excitement,” I said, giving her a hug back. “What are you doing today?”
“Being your slave,” she smiled at me. “Anything you need me to do?”
“Um…” I shrugged. “No. I was just going to get breakfast…or lunch… and then go to hair and makeup. We have a press conference and all.”
“Exccccitting,” Charisma was possibly one of the sweetest girls I had ever met. She never had an unkind word for anyone and was always genuine in her responses. “Want me to come?”
“Sure, you can be my body guard.” I linked my arm in hers, heading down to the canteen. It was then that I saw Selene again, crossing the campus. She had sunglasses and a fashionable trench coat on, but I still recognized her. She carried herself in such a way that couldn’t be missed, with her nose high in the air and her shoulders squared.
“What?” she asked, following my eye line. “Who’s that?”
“No one.” I said, even as I took out my phone and frantically sent a text to Liam. Selene is on campus. I’ll be in the cafe. “Just…someone I thought I knew. Let’s go.”
I moved faster down the hall, practically dragging Charisma with me. We had barely grabbed food when Liam burst into the canteen, his jaw set.
“Are you alright?” he asked, and I nodded. Charisma looked from me to him and back again.
“Nothing.” he said, shaking his head. “Amy just needs…I need Amy to come with me. Sorry.” He apologized to her. “Last minute prep.”
“No problem.” She released my arm. “Break a leg tonight, guys! I have tickets for tomorrow.”
“Thanks,” I said, giving her a quick hug and then following Liam out into the hallway, my food long since forgotten. “Liam, it’s ok. I just saw her, she didn’t see me.”
“I should have known,” he shook his head, dragging me along the hallway to the staff quarters. “I shouldn’t have been so stupid.”
“What?” I asked, struggling to keep up.
“I’m sorry, Amy. I thought we were safe when she didn’t show her face. But she bought all the tickets to opening night, and I should have known she would show up today. She’ll be watching tonight, for sure.”
“Do you think she wants to hurt me?” I asked, fear leaping into my throat. Liam shook his head.
“No. Selene is not usually the...violent type,” he said. “And even if she does try, there will be truck loads of security there, to make sure we’re safe.”
“Uh…Did you get vampire security or something?” I asked, as he put his key in the lock.
“Sort of,” he replied, ushering me into the room. I turned to give him a funny look, but when I entered the room, I saw what he meant. Sitting crossed legged on his bed, looking about four shades paler, Porsche was slowly doing her makeup.