Chapter 1

The parking lot was crowded, voices of hundreds of eager students filled the school grounds as they delighted in their weekend plans. Tiva, on the other hand, stood alone, books held tightly to her chest. It was as if the black clothing that adorned her body caused a shield to form around her. No one made fun of her, no one tripped her in the hallways as they did other outcast, they simply pretended she wasn't there.

At first, Tiva hadn't cared much about being ignored, in fact, she thought it was quite funny that the jocks, the cheerleaders, or even the bullies didn't pick on her. She felt invincible, like she was in charge, like she was scarier than the meanest teenage jerk. But after a while, the fun of it had worn off, she was so tired of being avoided. Sometimes she even debated giving up on the Goth image she'd coddled for so long. But she could never do that, it was what she was, without her vampire books and lacy corsets she was just another face in the crowd, another person she'd grown to hate.

While Tiva picked at the intricate lace pattern on her blouse, a van pulled beside her. Without looking up, Tiva opened the passenger door and slid into the leather seats. "You're late again mother" She said, switching her blank gaze to the side mirror.

"I know dear, I got held up at work. I just couldn't leave!" the driver said. Tiva finally let her eyes fall on the woman, her hair was bleached blond, lips plastered with red lipstick, and over tanned skin starting to wrinkle around her eyes and mouth.

Tiva raised an eyebrow and muttered under her breath. But her mother looked on, swerving between the vehicles in the parking lot and finally onto the street. Overly whitened teeth gleaming as she smiled at the drivers of cars she passed.

"You know... for a Friday night this place isn't that crowded." Reece pointed out, running her fingers through her silky brown hair, as she did, a small strip of pink was exposed.

Tiva smiled at her one and only friend "When did you get that?" She asked, running a finger across the pale strip curiously.

Reece giggled girlishly, a habit she'd picked up from private school "I got it Tuesday, I have to keep my hair parted on the other side around my mom and teachers so they don't see. We both know they'd all flip!"

Tiva nodded, Reece's mother wasn't one to allow anything that wasn't perfect in her presence, and her school had a very strict dress code. "So, like I said earlier, this place is really dead!"She looked around the bar, some of the tables were occupied, a few people stood, but it wasn't nearly as full as it had been during the summer.

"I'm sorry, but I can't ignore the irony in that statement." Tiva said, smiling wider at Reece's confused face "You see Reece" she explained "This is supposedly a vampire night club... so it wouldn't be dead... it would be undead."

Reece stopped smiling and looked questioningly at Tiva "I don't get it... Whys that funny?" the confusion in her voice made Tiva want to laugh, but she suppressed the urge.

"Never mind, I'll explain later" Tiva craned her neck to see across the bar. "For now there's a couple of guys over there that look like they need some company!" The two girls giggled together as they stood and walked arm in arm toward the far wall, stripped leggings swishing together as they did so.

XXX

Reece sat on a bar stool, tangled together with a boy she'd just met. While Tiva talked with his friend. "Do you think we should separate those two?" he asked, gesturing to the other two, it was hard to tell where one of them started or the other ended.

Tiva wrinkled her nose as she looked at her best friend, and then back to the boy. "Nah, let her have a little fun... she doesn't get out much." She smiled widely "So, I didn't catch your name."

"Oh, sorry, I'm Blake." he ruffled his spiky, ebony hair and returned her smile flirtatiously. Tiva's heart skipped a beat as he did so. She wasn't used to boys talking to her. It only happened at the club and sometimes at the mall's "alternative" stores.

"Oh... um... that's a nice name... mines Tiva" She blushed, an unflattering thing on a girl so pale.

"Tiva, huh?" Blake leaned closer to her and whispered in her ear. "Did you know that Tiva is the Hopi word for dance?" gently he kissed her ear, his warm breath filling it "Maybe you'd like to dance with me."

Not many people danced in the bar, but Tiva couldn't turn Blake down now, he was hers for the taking. Even if his pickup lines were lame.