Publication date: September 26th, 2023
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Wade Evans isn’t an ordinary vampire. He doesn’t drink blood. He needs life source energy to survive, but that’s not the worst of it. Everyone at school thinks he’s a serial killer. He’s allergic to everything, and the brother of the girl he likes loves to torment him.
Heather Walker believes in niceness. Unlike her brother, Jason, whom she stops from bullying Wade Evans after school. To teach her brother a lesson, their mom sets up a date for him to hang out with Wade, and Heather somehow gets dragged into it, too. It’s a good thing she finds him interesting and kind of cute.
But things go awry when hunters show up in town looking for Wade. They want to kill him, and Heather wants to protect him, while her brother doesn’t think Wade’s a vampire at all.
This might be the start of something good for Heather and Wade if he can survive the night.
“I don’t want your T-shirt,” Wade grumbled, going over to the sink.
“You need something to wear. Won’t something happen if you don’t?”
Wade ignored her and started to wring his jacket into the sink.
“You can’t wear a toilet-water-soaked jacket home. That’s unsanitary.”
Wade dropped his coat in the sink. “Look, if I take your damn shirt, will you leave me alone?”
“I suppose.” She handed it over to him.
Wade didn’t say anything and slipped on her Hamilton High cheerleading T-shirt.
She let out a little laugh. The sleeves landed about three-fourths the way down his arms.
“What?” Wade asked.
“It looks good on you.” She wasn’t totally lying, either. His lean muscular frame was usually hidden under all his layers but was now on display because the shirt hugged tight around his chest, showing off his pectorals, with the ropey muscles of his forearms exposed.
He furrowed his brow. “Shut up.”
“Again, sorry about everything,” she said.
“Look, you can leave now. You don’t have to be nice to me because your brother is an asshole.”
“Somebody needs to be nice to you, and it’s not just because he’s my brother.”
“Well, don’t. Go back to your cheerleading practice,” he said, practically seething.
“Fine.” She crossed her arms and huffed. Most people liked Heather. She was friendly to all, so Wade and his not-so-sunshiny reaction to her was something she didn’t encounter all that often. “I’ll meet you by your locker tomorrow morning to get my shirt back.”
“I’ll just give it to you now.” He grabbed the bottom hem and began to pull it up.
“Nope, you need it. Where’s your locker?”
He sighed. “Next to room 104.”
Heather nodded and grabbed the paper towels from the sink.
“Here, bend down a bit.” She motioned toward herself with her hand.
He snarled his lip up at her.
She pointed at his forehead. “You need some help.”
“Oh, um, no, don’t worry.” He vigorously shook his head.
“C’mon.” She squirted some soap on the towels and stood on her tiptoes. Placing a hand on his cheek, she started scrubbing his forehead. A tingle ran up her arm from where the tip of her fingers touched his face. She stopped cleaning his forehead for a minute, tipping her head to the side, looking at him.
“What?” he asked, quirking up an eyebrow.
“Nothing,” she said a bit too quickly.
He grabbed her hand, trying to take back the paper towels.
She gasped as she felt the tingle again. “The air in here must be really dry or something.”
“Yeah, okay,” he said.
“You keep shocking me.”
“What?” He scrunched up his nose, staring at her.
“Whenever we touch.” She put her hand on his cheek again, but all she felt was his warm face.
He stared at her with his big blue eyes.
“Nothing,” she whispered.
He shook his head.
She kept her hand on his face, looking into his eyes. She wanted to hug him, help get the sadness out of his eyes, his expression. She now saw that the way he held himself in general exuded melancholy. She mistook it for anger before, but now saw it was something else.
“Hey.” He peeled her hand from his face and squeezed her fingers. “I have to get going.”
“Yeah, sure.” They stood, staring at each other, a warmth filling her the longer he held on.
“But thanks,” he said softly.
She smiled. “No problem.”
Melissa Liban grew up in Chicago, where she attended high school at the corner of Addison and Western but now lives in Northern Virginia. She received her bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago, where her main focus was traditional animation, but she took some courses in fiction writing as well. Melissa also holds a master’s degree in elementary education. Along with having published many books herself, she has also designed book covers for several independent publishing companies. She loves to draw and also consumes copious amounts of breakfast cereal.
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