Author's Note: This is the rewrite of "Once Bitten" (obviously). I took the story down a few weeks ago because I decided that a lot of the story was total crap. I had planned to start over with a clean slate, and a completely new plot, but tonight, I decided against that. I am still going to rewrite and edit this story. Some of it will be identical to the original story, some of it will be new and (hopefully) improved. I know that when an author rewrites their novel, it's supposed to bear little to no resemblance to the first draft. However, I am stubborn and there is a lot about this story that I like and want to keep. And for that reason, the first three chapters, for the most part, will be almost identical to the original story. I will, however, take every piece of advice you all have given me and use it as a guideline as I rewrite this. I promise to make a stronger, more likable heroine. I promise to eliminate all pointless characters and plotlines. I promise to provide a better ending. I promise to make this better the second time around. And I don't expect all (or any) of the original story's readers to re-read this, but for those of you who chose to, just know that I am eternally grateful to you for doing so.
And just a side note: I am still working on the epilogue to "The Importance of Getting Revenge", and I promise it will be up sometime soon.
I was thankful that the spots of blood on my waitress uniform were not mine, but my boss was going to be pissed regardless. Not just because of the stained clothing, but because I was already ten minutes late for work.
None of this was my fault, of course, but that wasn't going to matter to Stu, who had already given me two written warnings last week alone for showing up late to work. One more warning and I wouldn't need to worry about trying to get that bloodstain out of my blouse, because I would be fired quicker than you could say, "Are you ready to order?"
With an exasperated sigh, I glared over at the pale, scrawny geekfest passed out in my passenger seat. The sedative I used rarely ever induces sleep. It usually just causes lethargy and occasional slurring of speech. However, this kid was obviously such a wimp that I'm sure one Aspirin would have had the same effect on him. This was why I was running late. The kid may have been skinny, but I'm not exactly a body-builder myself. Dragging a lifeless body down a driveway and then lifting it up and into a car is no easy feat, and it certainly is not something that can be done quickly. These things take time. It was completely out of my control.
I was beginning to wish that I hadn't used the sedative, but the kid was being way too difficult for me not to. He was obviously not going to leave his house without a fight, so I gave him one, hence the blood on my uniform. I only hit him once, and not very hard, but apparently his bones were brittle, making it quite easy for me to accidentally break his nose. He also seemed to be somewhat of a hemophiliac, because I swear I have never seen that much blood come from one person in my life, not even in horror movies. It was a good thing he didn't really need it.
Staring at this guy in such a pathetic state, I realized I should have felt sorry for him. However, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. So instead, I decided to feel sorry for myself. I had a dead-end job I was about to lose, all because of my other job, which doesn't pay a whole lot, and I was already late paying my rent and I would have loved nothing more than to be able to keep a roof over my head for at least the next month – a dream that wouldn't come true if I was suddenly unemployed.
It was times like these that made me regret having dropped out of college after only four months. I would have graduated by now, and been well on my way to having a successful career that paid a lot of money. Instead, I was waiting tables and dealing with losers like the one out cold beside me. And I could barely make ends meet.
Thinking about how much I loathe my life usually puts me in a bad mood, and this time was certainly no exception. And when I'm in a bad mood, I tend to take it out on other people.
"Hey," I said, raising my voice to be heard over the music coming from the radio. Keeping my eyes on the road, I reached over with my right hand and nudged my passenger.
I heard a slight thud and then an "Ow!" and glanced over to see the kid, now awake, rubbing his head, his brow furrowed. Apparently I had nudged him a little too hard, causing his head to bang into the window beside him.
I tried hard to suppress a smile. "Wakey, wakey."
"What the hell?" the kid grumbled. He glared over at me. "You drugged me!"
"Don't take it personally. I do that to all of my perps."
The boy, Martin Beekman – apparently known to all of his former friends as "Beeker" – reached up and touched his fingers to his nose. Even with the lack of light inside the car, I could see his eyes darken as his memory began to return.
"You bitch! You broke my nose!"
"Relax," I said, "it's practically healed already."
It was true. The blood that had caked underneath his nose was the only indication there had been any sort of injury at all. The area wasn't even black and blue anymore. Ah, rapid healing. Just one of the many perks of being a vampire.
"Anyway," I continued, "in my defense, I wouldn't have had to even touch you if you had just cooperated to begin with."
He stared at me with his mouth agape. "Some stupid, skinny bitch barges into my house without an invitation and threatens me with a needle, and I'm just supposed to cooperate?" He shook his head. "You people are unbelievable."
I tightened my grip on the steering wheel. "If you refer to me as a 'bitch' one more time, I will-"
"Bitch! Bitch, bitch, bitch!"
"That's it," I muttered, cutting the steering wheel sharply to the right. I pulled over to the side of the road and slammed hard on the brakes, sending Beeker, whom I had neglected to put into a seatbelt, lurching forward onto the dashboard.
"Bloody hell!" he squealed.
"You're not British," I informed him, "so don't talk like you are. Now get out of the car."
He glanced over at me, his eyes narrowed. "By myself? You're not afraid I'll run away?"
I threw back my head and laughed. "Oh please. That sedative I injected you with will leave you practically immobile for at least another two hours. You won't make it two steps."
I could tell that he thought I was bluffing and I knew that he would call me on it. Sure enough, he reached over and opened the passenger door and stumbled out of the car. And just as I had predicted, he made it no more than two steps before collapsing onto his hands and knees on the ground.
I sighed and shook my head as I stepped out of the vehicle.
"I'm late for work," I said as I made my way around the front of the car. "And you're just making me more late." I reached out my hand for him to take, which he did with great reluctance, and I helped him to his feet. As soon as he had steadied himself, I swung my fist into his face with all of my might, catching his nose once more with my mean right hook.
"Son of a bitch!" He doubled over in pain. "You broke my nose! Again! You're crazy!"
"And if you don't want it broken a third time, then I suggest you watch who you're calling 'bitch'. Got it?"
He grumbled in response, holding his hand underneath his nose to catch the fresh blood that was now gushing out of it. He wanted to call me more than just a 'bitch', I was sure of it, but the poor guy had already endured enough pain and blood loss for one day, so he kept his mouth firmly shut.
"Now listen," I said, handing him a tissue before pushing him back toward the car. "I have a bit of a dilemma. You see, I was supposed to be to work over ten minutes ago, and where I am supposed to bring you right now is over fifteen minutes away. However, my workplace is only five minutes away from where we are standing, and it would save me a whole lot of time if I just brought you there instead, and you could wait in the car until my shift is over."
"No way in hell!" he snarled.
"I knew you wouldn't mind," I said, ignoring his objection. I grabbed his arm and proceeded to drag him back to the car.
"You can't do this!" he cried as I pushed him into the passenger seat. "You can't just abuse me like this!"
I shut the door in his face, instantly muffling out his protests. I pinched the bridge of my nose as I began to feel a migraine coming on. I didn't need to listen to a bunch of bitching and whining at the moment; I was in for enough of that from my boss when I showed up nearly twenty minutes late for work.
I sighed and slipped back into the driver's seat.
Beeker was scowling. "There are laws against this kind of treatment, you know."
"I do know that," I said, putting the car into drive. "But I also know that those particular laws apply to humans, not monsters."
With a huff he shook his head, but remained quiet for the rest of the trip. Being the nice person that I am, I not only refrained from physically harming him again, but I also allowed him to listen to whatever radio station he wanted to on the way.
Who knew that a scrawny white vampire would have such a strong affinity for gangsta rap?
A little more than five minutes later, we arrived at our destination. Benny's Burger Barn has been my main place of employment since I dropped out of college five years ago. I have no idea why I have stayed employed there for so long, and it's beyond me how I have not yet been fired. I'm not a bad waitress. In fact, I think I'm a pretty darn good one, and customers have never complained about me to the manager. I am, however, often tardy, and I am told that most employers prefer their employees to be on time.
Beeker snorted as I pulled into a parking space around the back. "This is where you work? Classy."
"Bite me," I snapped. I glared over at him and added, "That's a figure of speech, by the way, not an open invitation."
"Oh please. Why the hell would I want to bite you? I'm willing to bet you taste bitter."
"I'd rather taste bitter than taste like a corpse, which is exactly what I'm betting you taste like."
I grabbed my purse from the backseat and fumbled around inside of it, looking for the pair of handcuffs I always carry around with me. It seemed silly to handcuff him, because I'm sure if he tried hard enough, he'd be able to get out of them with little to no problem. And that's why the next thing I searched for inside my purse was the vial of sedative.
"Oh no you don't," he said as soon as I withdrew the cuffs.
I grabbed onto his cold, pale wrist and slipped one cuff around it. "Sorry, kid, but this has to be done. I can't just trust that you'll stay in my car like a good boy for the next five hours."
"Five hours?" he cried, trying unsuccessfully to yank his arm away from me.
I clasped the other cuff around the steering wheel and took out the vial and syringe. "Don't worry. After I inject you with more of this stuff, five hours will feel like five seconds."
"Don't you dare!" he warned. "Don't even think about – OW!"
He yelped as the syringe punctured his skin, as I jabbed it into the side of his neck.
"Sweet dreams, Beeker," I whispered, pushing down on the plunger, and then pulling the syringe back out after all its contents were gone.
The sedative worked just as gloriously as it had the first time, instantly lulling him into a stupor. That would keep him unconscious at least until my fifteen-minute break, at which time I would return to the car and knock him out again.
"You'll regret this," he slurred, his eyelids beginning to droop. "And…don't call me…Beeker…"
And he was out.
"Thank you," I muttered to myself. Grabbing my keys out of the ignition, I jumped out of the car, locked it behind me, and sprinted across the parking lot towards the back door of the restaurant.
Now all I could do now was hope and pray that in five hours, I'd still have a job.