Chapter 1 – 2gether 4ever “You bitch, you killed me! You suck!” Tommy had just awakened for the first time as a vampire. He was nineteen, thin, and had spent his entire life between states of amazement and confusion.
“I wanted us to be together.” Jody: pale, pretty, long red hair hanging in her face, cute swoop of a nose in search of a lost spray of freckles, a big lipstick-smeared grin. She’d only been undead herself for a couple of months, and was still learning to be spooky.
“Yeah, that’s why you spent the night with him.” Tommy pointed across the loft to the life-sized bronze statue of a man in a tattered suit. Inside the bronze shell was the ancient vampire who had turned Jody. Another bronze of Jody stood next to him. When the two of them had gone out at sunrise, into the sleep of the dead, Tommy had taken them to the sculptors who lived on the ground floor of his building and had the vampires bronzed. He’d thought it would give him time to think of what to do, and keep Jody from running off with the old vampire. His mistake had been drilling ear holes in Jody’s sculpture so she could hear him. Somehow, during the night, the old vampire had taught her to turn to mist, and she’d streamed out of the ear holes into the room, and – well — here they were: dead, in love, and angry.
“I needed to know about what I am, Tommy. Who else was going to tell me if not him?”
“You should have asked me before you did that,” Tommy said. “You shouldn’t just kill a guy without asking. It’s inconsiderate.” Tommy was from Indiana, and his mother had raised him to have good manners and to be considerate of other people’s feelings.
“You had sex with me while I was unconscious,” Jody said.
“That’s not the same,” Tommy said. “I was just being friendly, like when you put a quarter in someone else’s parking meter when they aren’t there – you know they appreciate it later, even if they don’t thank you personally.”
“Yeah, wait until you go out in your jammies and wake up all sticky in a cheerleader outfit and see how grateful you are. You know, Tommy, when I’m out, technically, I’m dead. Guess what that makes you?”
“Well – uh— yeah, but you’re not even human. You’re just some foul dead thing.” Tommy immediately regretted saying it. It was hurtful and mean, and although Jody was, indeed, dead, he didn’t find her foul at all — in fact, he was pretty sure he was in love with her, he was just a little embarrassed about the whole necrophilia/cheerleader thing. Back in the Midwest people didn’t mention that sort of thing unless a dog dug up a pom pom in some guy’s back yard and the police eventually discovered the whole human pyramid buried under the swing set.
Jody sniffled, completely for effect. Actually she was relieved that Tommy was now on the defensive. “Well welcome to the foul, dead thing club, Mr. Flood.”
“Yeah, you drank my blood,” Tommy said. “A lot.”
Damn, she should have pretended to cry. “You let me.”
“Again, being considerate,” Tommy said. He stood up and shrugged.
“You just let me because of the sex.”
“That’s not true, it was because you needed me.” He was lying, it was because of the sex.
“Yes, I did,” Jody said. “I still do.” She held her arms out to him. “I really do.”
He walked into her arms and held her. She felt amazing, even more amazing than she had before. It was as if his nerves had been dialed up to eleven. “Okay, it was because of the sex.”
Great, she thought, in control once again. She kissed his neck. “How do you feel about it now?”
“Maybe in a minute, I’m starving.” He let go of her and stormed across the loft to the kitchen, where he pulled a burrito out of the freezer, threw it into the microwave, and hit the button, all in one smooth motion.
“You don’t want to eat that,” Jody said.
“Nonsense, it smells amazing. It’s like every little bean and pork piece is sending out it’s own delicious miasma of flavor vapor.” Tommy wanted to be a writer. That’s why he’d come to San Francisco in the first place – to take life in big bites and write about it. Oh, and to find a girlfriend.
“Put the burrito down, and back away Tommy,” Jody said. “I don’t want you to get hurt.”
“Ha, that’s cute.” He took a big bite and grinned at her as he chewed.
Five minutes later, because she felt responsible, Jody was helping him clean bits of masticated burrito off the kitchen wall and the front of the refrigerator. “It’s like every bean was storming the gates of repressive digestion to escape.”
“Yeah, well, being refried will do that to you,” Jody said, stroking his hair. “You okay.”
“I’m starving. I need to eat.”
“Not so much eat,” Jody said.
“Oh my God! It’s the hunger. I feel like my insides are caving in on themselves. You should have told me about this.”
She knew how he felt – actually, she had felt worse when it happened to her. At least he knew what was happening to him. “Yeah, sweetie, we’re going to have to make a few adjustments.”
“Well what do I do? What did you do?”
“I mostly fed off of you, remember?”
“You should have thought this through before you killed me. I’m fucked.”
“We’re fucked. Together. Like Romeo and Juliet, only we get to be in a sequel. Very literary, Tommy.”
“Oh, that’s a comfort. I can’t believe you just killed me like that.”
“And turned you into a super-being, thank you very much.” “Oh crap, there’s burrito spooge all over my new sneakers.”
“You can see in the dark,” Jody said cheerfully. “Wanna try it? I’ll get naked. You can look at me in the dark. You’ll like it.”
“Jody, I’m starving over here.”
She couldn’t believe that he didn’t respond to the naked persuasion. What kind of monster had she created? “Okay, I’ll find you a bug or something.”
“A bug?! A bug!? I’m not eating a bug.”
“I said there’d have to be some adjustments.” _______________________________________________________________________ Chris here. That’s not the whole chapter, just the first scene. You guys have any problem with the point of view shifts? We lose anyone? I haven’t even gone through this yet, so it’s likely it won’t end up the same in the finished book, but I thought you guys would enjoy a visit from old friends. _______________________________________________________________________