Vampires in VegasBy: Samantha Snow
A PARANORMAL ROMANCE
“Excuse me! You guys can’t be this loud in here, OK? You just...can’t. It’s a library, remember? With books?”
“Oh my god, are you serious right now?! There’s nobody in here, Ella! Like, nobody. Aside from you and probably a janitor or two, but god only knows where they are. I’d be willing to bet a boat-load of money that they’ve got themselves holed up in some broom closet somewhere where nobody will bother them while they watch Netflix on their iPhones. And don’t shake your head at me, because you know I’m right.”
But shake her head was exactly what Ella did. It didn’t matter to her that Jen was almost definitely right about the janitor thing. She had actually walked in on them doing exactly that kind of thing on more than one occasion, and despite her disapproving looks, they hadn’t seemed the least bit apologetic about it. Apparently, slacking on the job was no big deal. Not that Ella was going to admit that to Jen. The last thing that girl needed was for another person to tell her she was right. About anything.
“Actually, there are people in the library. Don’t roll your eyes at me, either. I should know, shouldn’t I? I’m the one who sees everyone who comes in and out of the building, after all.”
“That’s right, you are,” she said with an even more pronounced eye roll, “just like the gatekeeper for the gates of heaven, right? Or maybe hell? Doesn’t matter. There may be people in here, but it can’t be more than a half a dozen. If you tell me there are, I’ll tell you you’re lying.”
There were, in fact, only three people in the library at the moment, a building so vast that she couldn’t have said without looking at the expansive network of cameras (that only sometimes worked) to determine where exactly they were. So honestly, no, there was very little chance that Jen and her two giggling friends (girls Ella had met before but whose names she could not remember for the life of her) would really disrupt a patron of the library.
As far as Ella was concerned, that didn’t matter. She couldn’t have cared less. It was the principle of the matter. Principles were important to Ella. For her, principles and rules pretty much made the world go around. She had been like that for as long as she could remember and nothing she had encountered had been able to change it.
She had memories of her own mother and father shaking their heads at her in bemused exasperation and telling her that she could stand to lighten up just a little bit. As far as she could remember, she had taken their advice under advisement and ultimately chosen to ignore it. That was just the way she was. Jen knew this about her. She shouldn’t have been surprised. Annoyed was to be expected, but not surprised.
“Why don’t you just tell me why you guys are here, OK? That might be best. Just tell me why you guys are here and then we can all get back to what we’re supposed to be doing.”
“Jeez, don’t sound so excited to see me,” Jen quipped, her lip poking out in that fake sulk Ella had been witnessing since they were in grade school.
“I am happy to see you, of course I am, it’s just that this isn’t the place to talk. You know that. We’ve talked about it before.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know. I just wanted to tell you about the bachelorette party. You are coming, aren’t you? I mean, it would be pretty weird for my maid of honor not to be at my bachelorette party.”
Oh, lord. Ella had known this was coming, of course. She knew how this sort of thing worked, whether or not she had actually been to a bachelorette party before. Jen was by no means a traditionalist, but she was also not the kind of girl to miss out on a tradition like that most infamous of all kinds of party. And there was no way Ella would get out of it.
It would make her a bad friend, and her desire to avoid that outweighed her desire to miss a crazy night of partying with Jen and her other friends. This was going to happen, whether she liked it or not. It was one case in which her better judgement could not win out. That was a very uncomfortable place for Ella to be, and she began to shift from one foot to the other, full of nervous energy.
“Ella?” Jen spoke her name in a warning voice, making it clear that there would be absolutely no excuses for her failure to attend. As if Ella needed that reminder. She knew it. She was a smart girl.