Chapter Thirteen

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There was no point showering in Luke's bathroom since I didn't have any clean clothes to change into. Plus, showering meant I'd be naked in practically the same room as Luke. That wasn't something I could handle thinking about.  

I'd have to walk to Riley's in the clothes I was wearing - barefoot, since I couldn't face trying to totter around in those ridiculous heels again.  

We were halfway down the stairs when two vampires appeared at the bottom, looking up at us. I stopped dead. It might be easy to forget Luke was a vampire, but I couldn't switch off my fighting instincts so easily when it came to other vampires. It shocked me that my first thought was I needed to go for my knife. Luke had taught me not all vamps were bloodthirsty killers, but apparently that was a lesson I hadn't fully absorbed. 

Luke paused a step behind me. I wished he was in front of me; I had no idea what I was supposed to do right now. 

"Luke?" said the male vampire, crossing sinewy arms across his chest. "Is there something you want to tell us?" 

I'm not sure what it was that made me realise these were Luke's parents - some gut instinct maybe, or simply the way they were looking at him. I studied them, trying to recall what Luke had told me about them. Samuel was tall, more than six foot, with a shrewd stare that could have been intimidating had he not been smiling. Elena was head and shoulders smaller, her pretty face framed with honey hair and featuring a tip-tilted nose. Neither of them looked remotely like Luke. 

Samuel lifted an eyebrow. "Well?" 

I could only imagine how furious Noah would be if it had been him standing there, but Samuel seemed curious rather than angry. 

"It's not what it looks like," Luke said. 

"I'm sure it's not," Elena said. She sounded stern but she was smiling too. It occurred to me that Luke's parents actually found our discomfort amusing.  

"It's my fault," I spoke up. 

Elena's warm gaze turned to me.  

"We were at a party last night and I got drunk and Luke took care of me." How many times would I have to tell this embarrassing story? 

Samuel appraised me and I felt self-conscious all over again. I had serious bed-hair, even more seriously toxic breath, makeup that was probably smeared halfway down my face, and sleep-wrinkled clothes. I'd never envisioned meeting Luke's parents before, but if I had thought about it, this wasn't the scenario I'd have had in mind. It shouldn't matter what impression I made on them, but I found myself wanting them to like me.  

Elena smiled indulgently. "You don't have to explain to us, dear. We were kids ourselves once." 

I almost slipped up and pointed out that as vampires they wouldn't know what it was like to drink too much. I caught myself just in time. Luke hadn't expressly told me to pretend I didn't know their secret, but complicated questions would crop up if I admitted the truth.  

Samuel slipped his arm round Elena's waist, tugging her to him. She giggled girlishly. "Luckily I never had to clean you up after a night on the tiles," Samuel said, kissing her forehead. 

"Oh, please, I could probably drink you under the table," Elena shot back. 

Samuel mock-frowned at her. "That sounds like a challenge." 

I didn't mean to stare at them but I couldn't help myself. They were so easy with each other, so comfortable, and so completely in love. Samuel's eyes shone when he looked at his wife, and Elena all but melted under his gaze. It reminded me of what Sophie had said about me having a sparkle in my eye. Would I ever look at a man like that? Would a man ever look at me like that? A more private thought was would that man be Luke? 

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