Vampires in Vegas(4)

By: Samantha Snow

“Um, what kind of stories are you watching, El?”

“Dateline. Don’t you ever watch Dateline? If you don’t, you should. It’s pretty addictive. And then you’d know to look out for people.”

“Oh lord, Ella, I’m not going to wind up on a Dateline episode, OK? It’s just getting married. People do it every day, to people their friends don’t like even, and they wind up perfectly fine. You know what I think it is?”

Ella shook her head no. She hadn’t been joking about the Dateline thing, but she didn’t want to make too big of a deal out of it, didn’t want to push her point. It looked like Jen was starting to relax again, which was for the best. She was sitting down again, this time in an old, cracked leather armchair that had belonged to Ella’s grandfather.

She had her legs slung over the arm of it and was looking thoughtfully into her glass. Something about that look was unsettling to Ella. She had an idea that whatever she was going to hear wasn’t going to be pleasant. She thought about trying to change the subject, but what was the point? Besides, she was the one who had opened up this particular can of worms. She would have to listen to the conclusion that came from it.

“No. What?”

“I think it’s because you don’t have any experience with men. It’s not your fault, really. You’re pretty and all, but your personality. Well, I love you, of course you know that, but your personality gets in the way with guys.”

“I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s true.”

“Oh come on, it is. You do know it, really. It’s the stuffy, quirky thing. Men don’t like that. They don’t like things being difficult like that. They want girls who are fun, breezy.”

“And I’m not breezy?”

“El, you’re like the total opposite of breezy. Like I said, I love you more than anything, but breezy you are not. I think if you had ever been in love, you would understand better about Dax and me.”

“Would I?”

“Yes,” she said with a maddening confidence Ella couldn’t hope to argue with, “yes, I think you would. See, if you’d ever been in love, you would know that it’s the sort of thing that doesn’t always make sense. You’re so smart! Maybe too smart for this kind of thing, because it just isn’t logical. That’s it, see? You’re wanting to look at me marrying Dax from a logical standpoint and it just doesn’t apply to stuff like this.

“Someday you’ll have a boyfriend, probably even you’ll fall in love, and then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. I’d like to promise that I won’t say I told you so, but we both know I probably will.”

“Ha,” Ella laughed half-heartedly, “that’s true, we do. So then Vegas it is, huh?”

“Vegas it is! And I swear, it’s going to be so much fun, El. I know you don’t think so, but it totally is. It’s just going to be you, me, Pam, and Kristy.”

“Ugh, but they hate me.”

“No, they don’t hate you. They just don’t really...get you. You know what would help?”

“No, but I have a feeling you’re going to tell me.”

“You’re right, smartass, I am.” Jen threw a pillow at Ella, which caught her directly in the face, causing Jen to go into a laughing fit that wasn’t quite over when she delivered her piece of advice. “Maybe don’t correct them every time you hear them say something wrong. People don’t like that. And don’t be so uptight! It’s Vegas, the perfect place for you to let loose! For like, the first time in your life. And I swear to god, if you let them give you a makeover they’ll love you for the rest of their lives.”

“Oh god. This is going to be great.”

“I know!” Jen shrieked, either not detecting Ella’s sarcasm or else choosing to ignore it. “Isn’t it? Three nights in Vegas, and we leave in a week!”

Vegas. Like it or not, Ella was going to Las Vegas, Nevada. That was a sentence she had never expected to utter to anyone, even to herself, and even saying it out loud didn’t make it seem any more real. She knew, she had tried it. Almost directly after Jen had vacated her apartment (promising to take a cab after drinking most of the two bottles of wine all on her own), Ella had actually tested it out. Vegas.