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Second Chances by Carla

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Star awoke in a dark room, a cool washcloth laid gently across her forehead. She murmured softly, turning her head, trying to see anything.

A light flickered on in the corner, dimly lighting the room. She turned her gaze that direction, and found herself looking at the girl from the boardwalk.

“Anna?” she said softly, making the word a question.

“Are you feeling better?” Anna asked, voice gentle. She crossed the room and sat down on the edge of the bed, one hand lifting the washcloth, the other running soft fingers through Star’s hair.

“What happened?” Star asked, frowning.

“You were knocked over by two men who were chasing me. I got rid of them, and then moved to help you up. You started shaking then passed out,” Anna explained.

“I must have hit my head really hard,” Star said, whimpering a little when Anna’s hand found a sore spot.

“You did. I’ve found a bump or two. I gave you some medicine that should help you heal,” Anna said, voice soft. “What’s your name?”

“Star,” she replied, carefully sitting up. “I should go. They will be worried, he’ll be mad.”

Anna nodded, not stopping her. “I’ll walk you, until you can find them,” she said.

Star started to protest, not wanting to risk this girl out in the night.

“You don’t have a choice here. It’s my fault you were hurt, the least I can do is help you find your friends,” Anna said, already standing and slipping on a well-worn leather jacket.

Star sighed, then nodded. “Fine,” she said.

Soon the two girls were walking slowly along the Boardwalk. It would be closing in the near future, but the crowds were still thick. They weren’t having any luck finding Star’s friends, and Star was getting reluctant to keep Anna out much longer.

They turned down a dark alley, planning on cutting across it to another part of the Boardwalk, where the crowds looked thinner. Suddenly bright lights filled the other end. Star stepped away from Anna, worried that her presence with the girl had endangered her.

Engines roared and laughter filled the air as the bikes raced down the alley. Star pressed herself against the wall, screaming for Anna to move, but the girl stood still.

She faced the bikes, chin high, a statue, as they raced towards her, a game of chicken that could end with disastrous results.

The bikes bore down on Anna and Star screamed again.

At the last possible second the bikes swerved, sliding by on either side of her, close enough that the wind from their passing whipped at her hair. As the last bike passed her, she whirled, sliding into a fighting pose, weight on her back leg, ready to attack or defend. The bikes turned, pulling to a stop in a semi-circle before her.

“Where ya been Star?” the white haired biker asked, voice amused.

“I was on the boardwalk, and these guys knocked me down. She kicked their ass, then when I passed out, took me off the street and back to her room. She helped me, David,” Star said, voice anxious.

“Did she now,” David said, turning his gaze to the girl standing before them. She was still calm, as if she wasn’t facing down a group of bikers.

“She did,” Star repeated, moving forward to stand next to David’s bike. “So leave her be.”

David laughed, the sound teasing and comforting all at once. “I’ll leave her be,” he stated softly. Star breathed a sigh of relief, which broke off when he continued. “I don’t think I’m the one you have to worry about though.” He nodded towards the boys. Paul and Marko were gazing at the newcomer with half-interested half-uncaring looks, but Dwayne’s eyes were dark, hungry as he watched her, not for her blood.

“If she helped you, then we owe her a great deal, don’t we?” David said, voice still that mix between teasing and serious. Laddie slid off of Dwayne’s bike and wrapped his arms around Star’s legs.

“I was scared,” he whispered.

Star sighed. “Let her go,” she asked sadly, knowing what the answer would be.

“Come with us?” David asked Anna, the smirk firmly in place. “If you’re brave enough.”

Anna lifted a single eyebrow, but did not rise to the bait. “Where?” she asked, voice uninterested.

“Come and see,” David said. Star sighed and slid onto the bike behind him, one arm tight around his throat for a moment.

“I don’t have a bike,” Anna said.

“Ride with one of my boys,” David said, already shifting in preparation of taking off. “Come with us.”

Laddie moved to climb back onto Dwayne’s bike, but the dark haired vampire shook his head, nodding to Marko’s bike. Marko didn’t say a word, just helped Laddie slip on.

Dwayne held one hand out to Anna. She looked at him for a long moment, eyes cold. Something flashed behind the walls and she took his hand, letting him pull her to the bike, easily sliding on behind him. Her hands found his waist for balance, and both froze, eyes darkening. Anna shook the moment off first, shaking her head.

Star sighed, eyes closing for a moment. David laughed, the sound filling the air. “We ride boys,” he commanded, tearing from the alley, Dwayne’s bike behind his, Paul and Marko behind.

Anna’s hands tightened reflexively on Dwayne’s waist as the wind bit into her skin. “What the hell have I done?” she questioned herself.
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