Love Bites
Chapter 6 Becky and the Barn

 Ellen Schreiber

  • Background:
  • Text Font:
  • Text Size:
  • Line Height:
  • Line Break Height:
  • Frame:

The students at Dullsville High treated me more oddly than usual the next day when I arrived at school. Apart from the usual shifty glances thrown my way, I heard more whispers and mutterings than normal. I was throwing my coffee in the trash when I felt a person standing behind me.
Your secret admirer is not so secret anymore, a male voice said.
I tried to ignore the demon in khakis and inch around the trash can, but he blocked my escape. Cornered, I spun around.
Trevor towered over me. His golden locks were combed perfectly, as if hed just been primped for a photo shoot. I didnt have the energy for one of his trivial confrontations.
Do you mind? Littering is illegal, you know. Be my guest and do us all a favor, I said, gesturing toward the can. Throw yourself in.
I love it when you talk dirty, he said, not budging. He placed his hand against the wall, blocking my exit.
I really dont have time for you today, I said, and slipped underneath his human barricade.
Two-timing your boyfriend takes a lot of time and energy, does it?
This time I stopped and faced him squarely. What are you talking about?
Word has it theres a new monster in town and hes leaving gifts in your lockercandy, jewelry, love notes.
I was always amazed at how fast rumors spread throughout Dullsville and how grossly incorrect they could become.
No one is leaving me anything.
Is that so? Then what were those flowers doing on Mrs. Hathaways desk?
Teacher Appreciation Day.
Thats not until
I was planning ahead.
Im not going to even react to your lies. I thought when you ditched your boyfriend, the least you could do was come to me. After all, Im much better-looking.
I didnt ditch Alexander!
Then he doesnt know? he asked as if he was unraveling a mystery. You are two-timing him.
Youve wasted enough of my time.
Or are you having a monster threesome up there in that filthy mansion? You always seemed the kinky type with your studs and boots. He sidled up to me, so close I could feel his warm breath against my neck.
Noyou have it all wrong. I faced him hard. This was one time Id rather have been in class than out in the hallway. I have to go.
Well, someone is going to know about you sneaking aroundand it might be Alexander. Trevor thumped me on the head and disappeared into the crowd of students.
I wasnt dating Sebastian. There was nothing to hide from Alexanderbut by the way everyone was treating me, the whole school must have believed I was cheating on him. My boyfriend, like any other, would not have been happy about that.
After school, I was at Beckys waiting for sundown. The time had slipped by as Becky typed away at her computer doing research for an English paper and I ignored my own homework by lying on her bed, rereading The Vampire Lestat.
I think Im almost finished, she said gleefully.
Well, I should be going, I said. The sun was slowly sinking; only a few rays still poked out behind the field. I need to tell Alexander that the whole town thinks Im dating Sebastian before it gets back to him.
Im sorry things have gotten so far out of hand. If you hadnt stuck up for me
Thats my job, I said. Im your best friend. I hopped off her bed and grabbed my jacket. I better get my bike.
When we arrived at her house, Becky and I picked apples from one of her trees for a snack, and Id parked my bike in the barn.
Becky peered out her window. Why dont I drive you home instead? she asked with concern. Its totally dark out there.
Thats okay. I can find my way.
But there arent lights, she said. Even in the barn.
I'd always protected Beckyat school, in town, in lifebut this was her property and she wasnt normally afraid on her own land.
Dont worry, I reassured her as I walked down her creaky stairs. I can go by myself. It will just take a minute.
The light switch hasnt been working, and quite frankly its kind of spooky without it, she confessed.
Im all about spooky!
I'll drive you home, she insisted.
You dont have to do that. Besides, I love wandering around fields in the dark. Maybe well find a dead body.
Dont say that!
Once outside, Becky picked up a flashlight from on her back-porch railing. I never get used to coming out here in the dark, she said.
It was pitch-black except for the tiny light beaming from her flashlight. We had at least fifty yards to walk just to reach the barn. The cool night air made the journey even more chilling.
Becky dug her nails into my arm but was doing her best to be brave.
I thought Id take her mind off her fears as we traipsed down her gravel road and through the darkness. So are you sure Sebastian hasnt tried to contact you again?
No texts? Or flowers? I hinted.
Nothing, Becky vowed.
Youd tell me
Of course I would. You know I cant keep secrets.
Good. Perhaps Alexanders and my talk was getting through to him. If you werent going out with Mattwould you like him?
But I am going out with Matt.
If you werent, I prodded.
But I am, Raven.
You havent even thought about it?
Nowhy would I?
As we grew close, a neighbors horse whinnied in the distance.
The old barn smelled like hay and old wood.
For a moment, Becky struggled, but she opened the barn door. It sticks, she said.
The barn was dark as a cave. Becky shined the light inside. Tools hung from the walls like dripping wax.
What happened to the switch? I asked.
It shorted out the other day. My dad didnt have a chance to fix it.
We were blind except for the thin beam from her flashlight. Something felt strangelike we were being watched. I knew that there werent any farm animals kept in the barn. I wasnt sure what else it could be.
Hurry and get your bike, she said.
Becky was still hiding behind me, pointing past the tractor. She clung to me so hard, I couldnt move.
Just then we heard a rustling in the rafters.
Becky jumped. Ooh! Its a bat. My dad said he saw one the other night. I figured youd want us to catch it for you, but it was too high.
Its more than a bat, I surmised.
After a few moments, the bat disappeared. I sensed someone lurking in the shadows. I took the flashlight and shined it on a bale of hay. Nothing. I shined it again on a workbench. Becky hid behind me, grasping my shirt so tight I could barely breathe.
Im scared, Raven. Lets go back.
I shined it on the tractor. The light caught the tail edge of blond dreadlocks.
Sebastian? Becky said, shocked.
I turned the light away from the vampire. He approached us in the moonlight, pushing my bike.
What are you doing here? I asked. Youre supposed to be with Alexander!
He was painting and I wanted to get some air.
In Beckys barn? I charged.
I was walking around and I heard some girls talking. I had to investigate. He smiled broadly.
Becky seemed to buy his excuse, but I knew better.
You scared us to deathwell, at least me, she said. Im so glad its just you.
Im sorry, he said. Truly. Id never want to make your heart race. Unless it was for a good reason.
Flirting time was over. Youre lucky Beckys father didnt find you. He has a shotgun, I warned.
He rarely uses it, Becky said. You must be tired if you walked all the way from the Mansion. Can we get you a drink?
No I answered for him.
Sure! he said over me.
I took my bike from Sebastian and the three of us headed back to Beckys house. In Sebastians presence, she was no longer afraid and didnt cling to me in any way.
Becky offered us fresh lemonade. Becky had the best lemonade Id ever tasted; her mother made it from scratch. Both Sebastian and I gulped it down and asked for seconds.
Its time we go, I said.
Sebastian wasnt ready to go. He wandered around her kitchen, examining every picture and decoration.
Where was Alexander when I needed him? If he had a cell phone, I could text him immediately. Instead, I tried to ring the Mansions line. If Alexander was painting, his music was probably blaring. It was true. The phone rang endlessly.
Even Jameson didnt pick up.
No voice mailreally frustrating, Sebastian said.
Arent you in town to visit Alexander? I asked.
Well, yes.
Then why arent you two hanging out?
We dont spend every minute together. Were guys.
When Becky and I got together, we spent every minute in each others company. But guys? Sometimes when Henry was over with Billy, one would be on the computer while the other was playing video games. I often wondered why they got together in the first place.
Still, I wasnt crazy about Sebastians behavior. It didnt seem to be bothering Alexander, however, if he was creative enough to paint. And for all I knew, Alexander might have needed the space.
We better be going, I finally said to Sebastian.
I can drive you both back if youd like, Becky offered.
You can drop Raven off first, then me, he said.
Becky will drop us both off at the Mansion, I instructed. Then we can tell Alexander where weve been.
After Becky drove us to the Mansion and I placed my bike against the gate, I grasped Sebastian by his sleeve and pulled him toward the front door like a scolded child.
See you tomorrow at Hooligans, Sebastian called back to Becky.
We met Alexander in his room as he was washing out a brush in a small bucket.
Did Sebastian let you in? Alexander asked.
Well, yes, but
Did you go into town? he asked Sebastian. It did me good to get some work done.
Yes, I had a great time seeing the sights, his best friend answered.
Alexander was euphoric from painting. I hated to spoil his mood by telling him where Id found Sebastian.
Im really such a lucky guy, Alexander said. My best friend and girlfriend are here and Im almost finished with my new project.
He pointed to a covered painting resting on the easel. But this one is for me.
Sebastian clearly wasnt going to tell Alexander what hed been up to. I strongly suspected that if Alexander found out Sebastian had been lurking in Beckys barn, he might throw Sebastian out of the Mansion. I didnt want to snitch on him, but I wasnt about to keep secrets from Alexander.
I had a major dilemma on my hands.
I gazed at Alexander, who was relishing his creation and his friends. Alexander was so peaceful, I couldnt bear to tell him Sebastian was stalking Becky or that Trevor was saying I was two-timing him. But then Sebastian surprised me.
I happened upon Becky today when she and Raven were together, Sebastian confessed.
Happened upon? Alexander inquired.
AlexanderIm hooked. I just wanted to see her one more time.
He flew into her barn when Becky and I were getting my bike, I said lightly. Nothing serious.
You cant be sneaking around her house, Alexander reprimanded. Thats immature. And dangerous.
Sebastian frowned.
I was the queen of sneaking in places. I wasnt any better than him.
No more. Ive washed my hands of love. Sebastian seemed to sense that this was upsetting his best friend. Well stay in for the rest of my stay and play Medieval Mayhem. I wont see her anymore. Not now, not ever.
But we are supposed to see her and Matt tomorrow at Hooligans, I said.
Well, I suppose one more time wont hurt, will it? Alexander said.
Sebastians face lit up. Ill have on my game face.