The bathroom filled with steam as I slowly rotated in the shower.
Hot showers are my sanctuary, even if I do have to occasionally make sure Riley isn’t peeking through the window.
Normally I would stay in here until the hot water ran out, but Quin STILL chews me out for the last time I did that.
I turned the water off and just stood quietly in the steam. As the water rolled away from my body it felt like the stress of the day had washed away with it.
I quickly dried myself off and got dressed before the room had time to air out. I hate getting dressed when it’s cold.
“Showers open!” I called to Quin as I pushed open my door.
“Finally!” She called back as she dashed in barely in her underwear.
I caught a glimpse of red rings around her ankles. It was the first time I had seen them, and they looked… Unsettling.
I’ll leave it be for now…
I lied down in bed and noticed a green light gently blinking on my phone. I opened it to see a text from Riley.
[The study date will be at my place tomorrow. :3] It said.
[Stop calling it a date, woman.] I replied.
Within seconds my phone buzzed with her reply.
[Don’t tell me how to live. I carve my own path! >.<]
I rolled over onto my back.
[Yea you’re a real rule breaker, huh?] I said.
[I am a drop kicker of the rules. The chains that bind you mortals are like mud in my hands. Muahahaha! >:D]
I caught myself grinning at her.
“Isaac! I need a quick favor!” My mom called from downstairs.
I pretended to be asleep.
“Isaac! Stop pretending to be asleep.”
“Yea, mom?!” I called back.
A few minutes later I was in sweats and walking down the street to a gas station. She had sent me with a list of a few things to pick up, and some extra money to ‘Get myself a snack.’
A snack? What am I, a child?
But I mean, I’m not not going to get myself something, and I guess it might be considered a snack.
I picked up the items on the list, and was skimming the candy aisle when my eyes came to rest on a magazine in the aisle across from me. It wasn’t that there was a cute girl dressed as a kitty cat that held my stare. Rather, it was who.
There, on the cover of CUTE weekly was none other than Riley herself. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I reached over, picked it up, and skimmed to the section of her photos.
There were various images of her dressed as a cat, and although the outfits weren’t very revealing, they did accent her features very… Prominently....
“That’s someone’s daughter, you know…” came a voice from behind me.
I spun around to see a man on the other side of the candy aisle. Only his head and shoulders could be seen as he looked at me. My face turned red hot as I desperately tried to explain myself.
“-No! It’s just… I… Uh.” His stare was burrowing a hole in my eyes.
He only shook his head and walked to the register.
I quickly grabbed my snack and headed for the counter, too.
...Silently, awkwardly… I fell in line behind him… The cashier was especially slow tonight. The man never once looked back at me, thankfully.
As soon as it was my turn I threw that money down on the counter and bolted out the door.
I hate when I get caught off guard.
The next day, a saturday, I was standing in front of Riley’s house. The sound of pop music was coming from her bedroom. I rang the doorbell and was surprised when the door was almost immediately opened.
There stood Riley grinning at me.
“Bet you thought I was upstairs, didn’t you?” She asked.
“You know what I thought, Riley,” I said.
“I do. Heh, I just like to see the look in your eye,” she said.
“What look?” I asked.
“All of them.” She turned around and started climbing the stairs.
A gentle tingle shot up my spine as I watched her. I stepped inside and took my shoes off, and placed them by the door.
“Wait for me!” I heard Quin calling as she dashed across the yard.
I slammed the door in her face. This is payback for when I was sick. I don’t even feel bad.
I heard a sigh as someone in the kitchen walked out of my sight.
“Ya jerk,” Quin said as she was suddenly standing next to me.
I looked back to the kitchen, but whoever it was had gone.
“C’mon,” I said. “Let’s go.”
We quickly made our way to Riley’s room where she and Tessa were waiting for us.
Riley was wearing pajamas still. I couldn’t help but see her in a cat outfit whenever I looked at her.
She looked at me with an eyebrow raised at first, but then I guess she read my mind because her face almost melted. She inhaled sharply and just froze.
“Uh…” I said.
“Uh…” She said.
“...Uh?” Tessa said.
“Nothing!” Riley spat quickly.
Tessa looked at me.
“Sure doesn't look like nothing,” she said.
“Tessa, to me it’s personal, you know, kinda like how when you write about-”
“GOT IT! PERSONAL! I AM SHUTTING UP NOW!” Tessa shrieked.
Riley looked back to me, wide eyed.
Now you’re shy all of a sudden? I thought to her.
She grabbed me by the wrist and dragged me into the hall.
She slammed the door behind us and looked at me pleadingly.
“What’s the problem?” I asked. Riley has always been sort of… Promiscuous…
“It’s different when it’s public like that… I only ever really feel that passionate when… I’m around you…” she mumbled.
“Because of… my blood or whatever?” I asked.
“Yea… I don’t really want people at school to see my like that,” she said.
“Then why do it?” I asked.
“I really like modeling, it’s just embarrassing,” she said.
“It’s not different than when you wore that kind of thing on halloween. People’s jaws were dropping.” I said.
“Did your jaw drop?” She asked.
“-...I mean… Yea, sort of... Yes.” I said.
The corner of her lip slowly curled into a smile as she looked me in the eye.
“Buncha saps,” Quin said from behind us.
“Quin! How long have you been there?!” I demanded.
“Pretty much the whole time.” She said flatly.
“Can we have a little privacy?” I asked.
“If you want me to stop being nosy, stop being so interesting,” she said as she went back into Riley’s room.
Riley and I exchanged a look of frustration as we headed back inside.
It wasn’t long into our studies that I heard a knock outside her door. A man's voice called from the other side.
“Riley, come open the door. I made you guys some alphabet soup.”
“Ah. Dad I’m not a little girl anymore.” She said it as if she were annoyed, but she was smiling brightly.
She opened the door, and he looked past her, to me.
“You’ll always be my little girl,” he said as he placed a bowl of soup at each of our seats around our makeshift table of books.
I watched as the man I had ran into at the gas station last night kissed his daughter on the forehead, and glared at me one last time as he closed the door.
An icy chill ran up my spine as I looked down at my bowl of alphabet soup. It was mostly tomato juice with only three letters floating ominously in the center.
His message was clear. Well received. No mistaking it. Last night was the worst first impression I had ever made.
“Ahem… Riley?” I asked.
She looked up with a mouthful of soup.
“Uh… Which side of the family do you get your vampirism from?” I asked.
“Mah dad” she said between bites.
“Figured as much…”
If you liked it, leave a comment at the bottom, please. I have no way of knowing if people are reading and enjoying any of this otherwise!
Isaac was born to be the main character, and
he knows it. Though, were it up to him, that would
not be the case.
He wants a quiet life. A normal life. For seventeen
years Isaac has done everything he can to avoid
the lead role.
Supporting characters practically throw themselves
head on into Isaac's path as he desperately tries to
derail whatever Pilot Episode, Prologue, or Opening
their "Chance Meeting" might result in.
Isaac Gray might not be a bad guy,
but he is certainly
No One's Hero.