Black Sun 016: A Chat with Mr. Anderson (Original Draft)

Black Sun 016: A Chat with Mr. Anderson (Original Draft)

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“Juuulian!” Margrit’s voice rang out over the din of students making a hasty exit after the last bell. Julian stopped, turning slowly on her heels to give Margrit the most surly of scowls, the redhead didn’t falter or miss a beat. She completely ignored it. “Julian, you haven’t been here this late in forever. Are you joining Color Guard again?”

Margrit knew damn well that wasn’t where she was headed, and Julian’s stare said as much. “Detention, Margrit. A teacher wants to talk about my dating life. I wonder why that is.”

“Pish posh. Why would a teacher care about that? Angela told me you were sneaking around the school with Leo after hours. You’re lucky you weren’t arrested.”

“Oh I don’t know, maybe because the whole school is gossiping about my double boyfriends.” Of course, Julian knew it was more likely about the vampire part, but even Mr. Anderson said vampires in plural. If she were a teacher and heard one of her students was running around with two vampire boyfriends, she would probably think the girl was being passed around as a snack too.

This was going to be so, so awful.

Margrit just laughed. “If you didn’t want the reputation, dear, you shouldn’t do the crime.” She flicked her hair over her shoulder before passing by Julian with a wink. “At the very least, learn to flaunt it. I’m not the most fear girl in school for nothing. They get scared, I own it. That is how it works.”

Julian didn’t think that advice was going to apply here.

Sighing, she continued down the hall until she reached Mr. Anderson’s class. She slipped in quietly while a few stranglers were still making their way out. Once the room was empty of students, she finally spoke.

“How are we supposed to do this?” she asked with her nose wrinkling up as she hugged her books. “I’ve never talked to a teacher about something other than schoolwork before.”

“Well,” said Mr. Anderson, with a bit of laughter that almost sounded nervous. “I’d say I’ve never talked about anything other than schoolwork with a student either, but lately I’ve been getting a lot of practice.”

He hopped up onto his desk, folding his arms over his chest and furrowing his eyebrows at her. Like she was some kind of perplexing math problem. After a moment, he pointed at the nearest chair, motioning for her to take a seat.

“So,” he began, regret in his voice already. “You don’t seem like you’ve been thralled, and Caleb tells me you’re a psychic, so you’re probably not. So I guess the first thing I want to know is whether you really are involved with those boys, Julian, and how far it goes. I know it’s not my business, but… I’m a little concerned about you.”

“Oh god, You talked to Caleb?”

They were going straight to mortifying right out of the box. Now Julian was trying to factor in this new dynamic. Was he part of Caleb’s pack? Was she going to be indirectly lectured by Caleb’s order? Her mouth twist up as she glanced at the chair. The torture chair. She ended up dropping her books along with her bag in to the chair, and instead taking residence on the desk. At first she was subconsciously mimicking the way he was seated. Once she realized that, she shifted to cross her legs up on the desk with her.

This was probably not appropriate at all, and it wasn’t her trying to be defiant. Julian just didn’t want to be in a figurative hot seat.

“They haven’t thralled me. I don’t think either of them have even tried? I’d probably be a lot less of a pain for both of them if they could.” Jesus Christ, she did not want to answer his actual question. Julian started twisting one of her rings around her finger.

“Leo definitely is NOT my boyfriend. Margrit got the wrong idea after I fell off a ladder and Leo was going to abscond with me or something, I guess because he is an idiot and thought I was going to die. Last night we were playing hide and seek – and I know that sounds REALLY weird, but I am trying to practice psychic stuff. I’m not really all that great with it, so it was seek the vampire. The closet was just because I heard you coming and panicked and shoved him in there. And then it just got kinda weird.” Her nose wrinkled up again. Yeah no, she was moving on from that.

“Michael IS my boyfriend and has been for a few weeks. And it’s actually been really nice. We haven’t had any sex, so please PLEASE don’t ask. Just kissy things, I only think about kissy things!” Her face was probably red now and her head was tilting back so she could stare at the ceiling and not have to see what sort of weird faces he was making at her.

“You don’t have to be worried. I have it all under control. …sort of.”

Yeah, he was DEFINITELY making an awkward face, though he was obviously trying not to. His ears were even turning kind of red.

“I wasn’t- That’s not-” He put a hand over his eyes. “Okay. First, Caleb is… a friend. And he’s worried about you, too, but he said you handled yourself really well a few nights ago. He spoke really highly of you in general, actually.”

Mr. Anderson tapped his foot, hesitating.

“But,” he plowed on. “I’m actually less concerned about- that– than I am if you’ve been letting them, well, bite you. Or if you’ve been drinking their blood.”

She stopped staring at the ceiling to give him an incredulous blink. As if he had asked the most ridiculous question on the planet.

…Once she thought about it, of COURSE it would make sense to ask. Vampires. Tasty girl treat. Just because she knew that was not a thing, didn’t mean everyone else knew.

Now she was trying really hard not to grin. “No, they’re not biting me. And ew, no, I’ve not drank any of their blood either. Even with the Blood Moon when they were all vampied up they were really…” she tried to think of the right word, “protective of me? I’m pretty sure they both threatened each other at least once about not letting anything happen to me or touching me or whatever.”

Julian chewed on her lip, giving him a questioning stare. “What if I did drink their blood? That would let them thrall me, right? I’m not going to. I already have a very strict no thralling rule now. They know this.”

“Not just that,” he said, shaking his head and furrowing his eyebrows again. “If… If something bad were to happen to you while you have vampire blood in your system… That’s how new vampires are made. They haven’t told you?”

The gears whirring in his head were practically audible.

“Look, Julian.” Mr. Anderson pursed his lips. “Caleb and the rest of his pack aren’t really too keen on vampires as a rule. I’m a little more open-minded, but I’ve got to be honest with you. There aren’t very many ‘good’ vampires out there. At the very best, they aren’t as harmless as they seem.”

“Oh.” They hadn’t told her, had they? Julian was trying to go over conversations in her head, but it like way to many things had been left out or lost somewhere among all the other distraction information. But between Leo occasionally reminding her to douse herself in rose oil and Michael freaking out over every little bump and bruise, it may not be something they wanted to risk with her.

Julian shifted slightly on the desk, tilting head her and focusing her attention where he kept tapping his foot. “Have you ever met someone and you could just see they are better than what they are now? Like, you can see all of the potential and you know they could be so much more. They don’t see it in themselves, or maybe they do but they don’t know what to do with it.”

She finally glanced back up at him and shrugged her shoulders. “Michael and Leo are like that. I mean, in totally different ways, like night and day. They are broken and stuck with each other, and god knows they’re probably going to kill each other and get me killed too, but I want to help.”

Julian leaned forward, hanging her arms off the edge of the desk and groaned. “Uunrrng. It’s stupid and crazy and vain, isn’t it?” She huffed, sitting up straight again only to look completely twisted up over it. “I can’t help it, though. It really doesn’t matter if they’re vampires, or wolves, or evil cheerleaders. They’re in my life now. I want them to stay in it and I want them to not be miserable.”

“…I can understand that, actually,” admitted Mr. Anderson, with a wry little smile. “Okay, Julian. You know them better than I do, so I’ll trust your judgment. But if something goes wrong- or you find out that they’re hurting people- I need to know.”

He opened his mouth like he was about to say something else, but apparently thought better of it. Shifting on the desk, he stared at her for a minute in silence.

“Oh,” he added finally. “Don’t think that means I’m letting you out of detention for the rest of the week, though. You’re still in trouble for playing hide-and-seek on school property after hours.”

“Heaven help Michael or Leo the day one of them goes off the rails. I’m pretty sure I’ll have a small legion of people to back me up.” It was probably his teacherly duty to offer his help with these sorts of things. Though if he were a part of Caleb’s pack, there would be no doubt that he’d go straight to Caleb and then she’d have a whole wolf vs vampire fiasco to deal with. She grinned wide and cheeky.

…until he mentioned she still had detention all week. Then she was giving a very grumpy pout and sighed.

“I’m going to make sure Leo gets detention too, one way or another.” she muttered. The fact she was going to have to suffer through it and he wasn’t was just… so not fair.

Her expression lightened a little bit, though. “You’re a lot easy to talk to than my actual therapist.” she admitted. “Not too shabby for a teacher with wolfgirl problems.”

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