"Hey, beautiful," Rory greeted flirtatiously as he walked up to Erica at her locker. "How's my daffodil?"
"Go. Away," Erica warned, shutting her locker shut before walking away.
"Aw, c'mon, baby, don't be like that!" Rory called after her, following suite.
"Don't call me baby. I'm NOT your babe!"
"Sure you are! You changed me. And we have this connection…" Rory sighed blissfully, coming to a stop.
Erica turned around sharply. "Rory, if you don't stop following me, you'll WISH you've never been changed, got it?"
"Whatever you say, my blood angel."
Erica's teeth gritted as she turned the corner. She saw Sarah, who was talking to Ethan and Benny at Ethan's locker, and made her way over to them.
"Sarah, you-"Erica started, but her ears perked up at their conversation…
"…so I was thinking about going to see Columbiana tonight," Sarah was saying. "You guys wanna come?"
"I'm in," said Ethan automatically. Of course.
"No WAY am I gonna see a chick flick-"Benny began as Erica walked forward quickly.
"Did you say Columbiana?" said Erica. "Can I come with you? Please."
She did NOT want to come home followed -nor to find out that he had been watching her sleep. Or worse…Erica shuddered.
"Sure," said Sarah. "I was just about to ask you."
"Then I'm in," said Benny automatically. Erica looked over at him and he jerked his head a little and winked, making a sound with his tongue. "Wassup, Erica?"
Erica rolled her eyes. "Don't start." She looked back at Sarah. "Since when have you been making dating plans with E-boy over here?" she teased, looking from Ethan to Sarah.
"What?" said Ethan and Sarah. Ethan blushed feverishly and Sarah shuffled awkwardly to the side.
"It's not a date, Erica," said Sarah. "I didn't want to go see a movie with just me so-"
"You'd ask THEM before you ask ME. I get it." Erica rolled her eyes. "It's still a date."
Sarah raised an eyebrow. "If it's really a date, then it's a double date now."
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"Ethan and me, you and Benny."
"Me and BENNY? No!" Erica exasperated. "I already got Rory to deal with. I don't need Benny to try to finger me when the lights go down."
Benny raised an eyebrow, his lips pressed as he tried to keep from grinning.
"Who said anything about fingering?" said Ethan. "We're only fifteen!"
"Dude, you're fourteen," said Sarah.
"No, fifteen," Ethan corrected. "Benny's birthday was two months ago, remember? Mine was last Saturday."
"It was your birthday? Why didn't you tell me? I could've-"
"Uh-HELLO?" said Erica. "I thought we were talking!"
"Sorry," said Sarah. "What's wrong with Benny?"
"There are SO many ways I could answer that…" Erica said thoughtfully.
"I thought we were friends!" Benny protested.
Erica sighed. Her eyes sought Ethan's briefly.
"No way, girlfriend," said Sarah. "Benny's your date, 'kay? Ethan's mine."
Benny and Erica raised their eyebrows as Ethan's eyes brightened.
"I didn't say he wasn't!" Erica protested as the bell rang. "God, we'll talk about this at lunch. I'll see you guys later. Gotta go before blondie shows up."
She left, leaving a gust of wind.
"But…she's blonde," said a confused Benny.
Sarah rolled her eyes. "I'll see you guys later. We'll talk more about tonight."
To Ethan and Benny's surprise, Sarah kissed Ethan on the cheek before she walked away.
"What just happened?" said Ethan in a dazed tone.
"I guess we just scored some hot dates," said Benny as they started walking. "There's one thing that struck a nerve."
"How Rory's sucking up to Erica all the time. It's obvious she likes me better."
"I beg to differ," said Rory, coming out of nowhere. He was frowning.
"Dude, she was complaining about you," said Benny. "Not a good sign."
"Complaining about me means I was on her mind," Rory said defensively. "And she doesn't complain about you often."
"She just did," said Ethan.
"Still!" said Rory. "Erica's mine! Back off, cuz I called dibs."
"You did NOT call dibs!" said Benny. "You didn't even call it!"
"She likes ME better."
"No she doesn't."
"I'm better looking."
"Yeah, right. I bet you ten dollars other girls out there think I'm better looking than you. You may think Erica's hot, but I think she's a dangerous, beautiful goddess."
"I'm better for Erica cuz I'm a vampire. She bit me!"
"So? In Dusk I, Rochelle and James fell in love even though Rochelle was human. She ended up becoming a vamp in Dusk III."
Rory and Ethan stared at Benny in disbelief.
"What?" said Benny. "I can't help but listen in on Dusk freaks and their conversations…Point is, you can't assume just because someone turned you, it doesn't give you a nerdy claim to them-even though I AM a nerd so…"
"Oh, we'll see! We'll see who laughs first, laughs laughs, laughs last." Rory crossed his arms.
"What?' said Ethan and Benny.
"Never mind." Rory rolled his eyes. "I got a better chance at winning her heart than you do."
Benny raised an eyebrow. "Wanna bet?"
"Yeah, I bet! I bet I can win Erica's heart before you. By Monday tops!"
Benny shook Rory's hand. "You're on."