Dalton disappears around a corner, leaving me all alone with Lance.
"I'm sorry about him." He says coolly, his smile always present. He turns, pulling me along with him. "I really wanted to come with Pedro to get you when I found out you were coming, but he thought it would be best if Dalt went since he didn't know the big secret and he thought it would go over better if he just saw your parents instead of being told about it."
I smile up at him as we walk together and he catches me looking, winking at me smoothly. "Yeah, I wish it had been you that came instead of him." I agree, just thinking of Dalton making my heart beat faster in annoyance at his very existence. "I don't know where he gets off being so cold to me. He is seriously such a jerk. I mean like the whole way here we barely spoke and any time we did it was just him insulting me or making me feel like a dunce." I was running low on air, but it didn't stop my motor mouth from pouring on. "I didn't ask for him to be assigned to being my babysitter, so he should just get over it and suck it up like an adult." I sigh, peeking up again at him as we turn the next corner, voices beginning to echo up the hallway. "I'm sorry, I don't mean to talk your ear off, I just haven't really talked in like twenty hours so I guess I've got a bit of a buildup."
Lance laughed, squeezing my shoulder tighter.
"No, I totally get it." He smiles. "I can't stand the guy. He walks around here like he's better than everyone and so much more morally sound than us, yet he uses the blood slaves more than anyone else I know and he doesn't always return them if you know what I mean." He shrugs.
I didn't know what to say to that.
I was more than a little surprised. Of course I thought Dalton was a douche, but I hadn't really thought he was dangerous. Obviously he could be, but if Pedro trusts him enough to be in charge of my safety, I would have thought that meant he had a little more respect for human life.
"Hi, Lance." A pretty brunette girl waves as we get close to two big grey double doors with the words West Wing painted across the top, then in a smaller print Violators of rules will be held accountable.
I gulp nervously, making Lance laugh at me, hardly acknowledging the girl as she passes him. "Don't worry, this is the safest place to be in all of Castrum." I nod, but I don't feel like it can be too safe if they have to be reminded with a warning on the door not to kill us. "Come on, I'll show you where you'll be staying."
He drops his arm off of my shoulder, but then surprises me when he takes my hand in his like it's totally normal and leads me through the doors.
Inside West Wing, the lights are up on the top of the passages instead of illuminating the walkway from the ground like everywhere else we've been. It makes it a little easier for me to see where I'm going, which makes sense since this area is for humans with lame vision like me. There are a few people hanging around, talking outside of the numbered doors that line both sides of the corridor every couple of yards.
I don't miss the looks I get from some girls, and even some different kinds of looks from a few boys.
I try to pay attention to where he's leading me, while also avoiding the other's gazes, but Lance makes it pretty difficult when he keeps greeting ones he knows and then he has to awkwardly introduce me. "This is Rose, she's new." Everyone seems pleasant enough, but with Lance, the leader of the entire vampire army, holding my hand, who is going to dare be rude? I mean, other than Dalton. I curse his name for popping into my head again and force him back out of my brain where he belongs.
"Up there is the meal room." He points around the corner to a big white door. "You'll go there for food obviously." He laughs. "Then around there is a human only rec room. You can watch TV, play air hockey, read, whatever you want."