"Hey David, that girl's lookin' at you."
David was hardly surprised. Firstly because this was coming from Paul, and second because it wasn't uncommon for girls to decide they wanted to be his girlfriend (he had learned to humor them, as it made hunting that much faster). But this wasn't like that.
She was standing just outside the arcade. She had hazy blond hair, wearing a ratty denim jacket, and she was looking at him with an expression so intense he was surprised his head hadn't caught fire. Their eyes met, and she slipped through the crowd toward him.
"Who is that?" Marko asked, slightly amused.
"I've never seen her before," David replied.
The strange girl reached where they were standing. All four boys stared at her, not quite sure why she had come over or why she looked like she was about to slap their leader. Then she spoke.
"That's my necklace," she told David.
He raised an eyebrow, glancing down at the gold chain and pendant hanging from his neck before turning back to her, a smirk on his face.
"Is it?" he asked leisurely, holding it up to the light and examining it. "No, I don't think it is."
"It has my name on the back."
"And what is your name?" he asked, idly checking the back and finding that there really was something engraved there.
Paul, where'd you get that locket? David asked silently.
Just some guy I killed, Paul replied, sounding sheepish.
David winced inwardly. Paul's victim must have stolen it from this girl. Oh well, they had come to the Boardwalk to hunt anyway. This just made it a lot easier.
He looked at Amber out of the corner of his eye and smiled. "All right, Amber. I'm willing to believe this was yours. But it's mine now, and if you want it back, you'll have to win it from me."
She looked uncertain and a little annoyed, but it must have meant a lot to her because she nodded. "Okay. What are we playing?"
David saw her glance back at the arcade, and shook his head slightly. "This game isn't on the Boardwalk," he informed her. "You'll have to come with us if you want to play."
The boys chuckled at the troubled expression that crossed her face, but to their surprise she nodded, and followed them to their bikes.
"So what do I have to do?" Amber asked.
"Do you have a bike?"
"Then you ride with Marko."
David nodded toward the other boy, and she walked over to where Marko was waiting. While he helped her get situated behind him, Star and Laddie appeared from the crowd.
Star looked troubled when she saw Amber with the boys, and as she slipped onto David's bike, she whispered into his ear, "Who is that?"
David just glanced back at her, smirking. "That's Amber."
Star looked surprised. "Is she...?"
David shook his head slightly. "Not yet."
He could feel how tense she was. It wouldn't have been hard for him to imagine that there was a rock sitting behind him instead of a girl. He looked past her to make sure Dwayne had Laddie situated.
"Man, I feel lonely," Paul complained.
"Don't worry, Paul, I'm sure David will get you a hamster," Marko replied.
Someone laughed, and David realized it was Amber. "Poor Paul, stuck with a rodent," she giggled.
Paul just muttered under his breath. As soon as everyone was situated, they tore away across the sand. Once they were passed the immediate area of the Boardwalk, David motioned for Marko to come up beside him. Glancing across, he met Amber's eyes.
"You want your locket?" he asked, shouting so that she could hear him over the engines.
He took the necklace in one hand, and saw her gaze lock on it.
"Go ahead, take it!"
Her eyes widened in surprise. She would have to lean pretty far out to reach his hand, and her chances of doing so without falling were very slim. Not that it mattered, because she would still have to pry it out of his fist, and even if he hadn't been a vampire, her chances of overpowering him were slim to none.
She hesitated for a moment, then turned and said something into Marko's ear. David overheard her request and chuckled under his breath--she had asked him to ride closer. Marko just smiled and shook his head, no. Amber turned back to look at David, a disappointed expression on her face. She wanted her locket back, but she wasn't going to risk her life to get it.
David could have let it end there, but he decided it would be funner to keep the game going. He pulled his bike a little closer to Marko's, tempting her. This time, Amber took the bait. She leaned over, keeping one hand firmly around Marko's waist as she reached out with the other. She could see her necklace dangling from David's hand, only inches away. She stretched out a little further, closing the distance to within an inch of the gold chain.
"Give it to her," Star whispered pleadingly into David's ear. "Just give it to her."
"Why?" he asked simply.
He let his bike drift a little closer to Marko's. Immediately, Amber's fingers found the end of the chain and tightened around it, but the locket itself was wedged between David's palm and his bike's handlebar. She tugged on the chain, but the locket didn't budge.
"Amber," he called, but she ignored him. "Amber, let go!"
Amber continued to twist and pull at the necklace until a concrete piling suddenly connected with the side of her hand. She let out an audible yelp and pulled away. They were under the bridge now, but between the pilings flying past David could still catch occasional glimpses of the other bike. Amber had her injured hand drawn up to her chest, and she was clearly in pain.
The rest of the ride was uneventful. They didn't hear another peep out of Amber, and somehow the boys didn't feel much like crowing. They made it back to the bluff in silence. Amber looked uneasy when they pulled up next to the cliff, especially as the group led her into a kind of cave. She took in the sight of the lobby with wide eyes.
"What is this place?"
"It was a resort, up until the quake hit," Paul explained, flopping down on a nearby couch. "Pretty fine one, too. We're the only ones who know it's here."
"Except for you," David added.
"I won't tell anyone," she replied seriously.
David smirked a little. "I know."
"How's your hand?" Marko asked quietly.
"It's okay now, thanks," she told him.
He just smiled slightly and sat down beside to Paul. David turned and headed back toward the entrance.
"Come on, boys--and Amber," he called. "The night's not over yet."
"We just got here," Amber pointed out, perplexed.
"And now it's time to go."
The other Lost Boys sprang to their feet and headed for the entrance. At first Amber was right behind them, but when they reached the entrance, David realized she was missing from the group. He turned to see her standing with Star.
"Go home!" Star whispered anxiously. "You don't know who they are! You don't know what--"
"Come on, Amber," David interrupted, pretending to not be able to hear what Star was saying. "You want your locket back, don't you?"
Amber looked at him uncertainly, then slowly nodded.
"Don't worry," she told Star. "I'll be careful."
She returned with the Lost Boys to the top of the cliff, where their bikes waited, and Amber automatically gravitated over to Marko.
"No," David told her. "You ride with me this time."
Amber gave Marko an apologetic look and climbed onto David's bike instead. Marko didn't seem concerned, which of course he wasn't. The five of them rode out to the edge of town, coming to a stop outside an old, dilapidated factory building.
"Now what?" Amber asked.
"You'll see," David replied mysteriously.
The boys parked their bikes, and David led the group inside. Amber looked wary, but followed.
Moonlight filtered in through the roof, illuminating the large, rusted machinery inside. The building had been abandoned for fifty or sixty years, and its purpose was long since forgotten, even to the Lost Boys.
For some reason, there was a giant mirror running the entire length of one wall. By chance Amber glanced into it, and her eyes widened in surprise when she realized that she was the only one reflected in its surface. She looked around, thinking for a moment that the boys had hidden themselves from sight as a trick, but they were still there, watching her curiously. She looked back at the mirror, and again at them, shocked.
"David?" she asked, wide-eyed. "You're--"
"A vampire?" David finished, and grinned.
Her eyes widened further when she saw his teeth. She turned to the others, only to see that they looked the same. She backed away a few steps, but they moved to block her path.
"What do you want?" she cried. "I played your game!"
"Yeah. You did pretty well," David agreed. "How about it, boys? Give her a hand."
The other three clapped and whooped. Someone shouted "Way to go!"
"But the game's over now." David's smirk vanished. "And you lost."
He lunged, claws extended. Amber flung herself out of the way, sending pieces of scrap metal flying everywhere. For a second, her shirt snagged on a rusted table, and in the time it took for her to free herself, he had her by the arm.
"Just give up," he whispered.
"No!" she yelled, trying to pull away.
"You can't get away from me, Amber."
He pulled her closer, teeth coming dangerously close to her neck. She felt his breath on her throat and instantly reacted, grabbing a handful of the longish hair on the back of his neck and yanking hard. He came away with a startled grunt, removing one hand from her shoulder as he tried to free himself, only to receive a bony knee in the stomach.
Amber sprang away, eyes darting frantically around the room. There was only one exit she could see, and that was the door they had come in through. It was all the way on the other side of the room, and she would have to get around both David and the other boys in order to reach it.
"What are you going to do, Amber?" David taunted, already recovered.
Amber grabbed a piece of scrap metal off the floor and flung it at him. He turned aside and let it fly past him, then stood there looking at her with a cold smile on his face. Without warning, he lunged, arms sliding around her as he bit into her neck. She struggled violently, even turned and tried to bite him back, although she couldn't reach him. David drank deeply, unconcerned. After a moment, he pulled away, blood running down his chin as he gave her a friendly smirk.
"Admit it. I win."
She glared back at him, although her eyes weren't completely focused anymore. He leaned in again, but hesitated when he heard footsteps outside.
"Who's in there?" a voice demanded. "This building is condemned!"
David gave a frustrated growl, licked the bite wound on Amber's neck a final time, and released her. She collapsed in a heap on the floor.
"See you around, Amber."
He casually tossed the necklace onto the ground beside her, and the four vampires vanished with a gust of wind, leaving her alone in the factory. A second later, a man stepped inside. He took a look around, then saw her lying on the floor.
"What happened here?" he asked, alarmed. "Are you okay?"
Amber couldn't keep her eyes open any longer. Weakly, she reached forward, resting one hand over her necklace. And then she passed out.