Dinner and an Outlier

"So wait," I started, looking at Lee with amusement and interest. "Erromi doesn't know you can read minds?"

"Yup," Lee said, looking proud of himself. "I heard her say some pretty nice stuff, too.

I was sitting next to the blonde boy in our first block class, supposedly reading through a section in our social studies book, but totally ignoring it. What else were we supposed to do? Social studies was the single most bland subject in the entire universe. If not broader than that.

I licked at my pointed canines as I thought things over a bit. Maybe Erromi did like him. Lee and I couldn't really do much about our – ahem - supernatural-ness, but Romi and Carson were basically normal, aside from their heightened senses and twin telepathy. Not that it made a difference to me, but Carson and Romi were free to be interested in non-freakish people.

"Please stop licking your teeth while you smile at me," Lee said, looking more uncomfortable than he usually did (and that's saying something). "I feel like your gonna suck me off any second now." As soon as he said that, he caught himself, but I couldn't help but burst into laughter.

"Oh sure Lee," I was almost crying from laughing so hard. "Anytime!" I gave him a sideways look, making him cower away.

"You know I didn't mean that!" H had his hand over his mouth, though I could still catch a trace of red cheeks through his defenses. Ha ha!

I elbowed him in the side. "I know. I wouldn't if you wanted me to." I sighed. "I wouldn't do that or suck your blood. I'm not that mean to my friends."

"Sure..."

That's about where our conversation ended that hour. He'd visited Erromi about two days ago (that's when I surprised him at the Hallmark Store. Hahaha...), and she and I had been sitting with the boys at lunch since then. He and Romi were getting along just swimmingly, as far as I could tell. Not that I could tell as much about people as Lee himself could, but you know...

"So Fresca," Carson said, looking at me at lunch that day. I'd been getting sideways looks since the day before, after leaving my old table to be with fellow supernaturals, and all of them white. I used to sit at a table of black girls, and that was pretty cool. But these guys were pretty interesting, so I decided to try them out for a good bit. Of course, some of my fellow black friends weren't very happy with my leaving.

"What's up, sexy?" I said, giving him a flirtatious look. He looked only slightly uncomfortable, while his twin looked a little irritated by my forwardness. I cleared my throat. "What's up, Carson?" Erromi looked a little relieved.

"Well, you guys too." He signaled for the other members of the family. We all turned our attention to the handsome brunette boy. He re-spiked his hair, and then started his completely random explanation. "Well, seeing as how we're a bit of a family now,"

He stole my prospect. That bastard...

"I figure we can all go out and see a movie together."

"Avengers!" Erromi declared suddenly, slamming her fists on the table. Her eyes were bright and glowing with excitement. Lee and I gave her sideways looks, while Carson seemed pretty used to her antics and such. She shrunk back a little at Lee's staring at her. I smirked a bit.

"Sure," Lee shrugged. Of course he'd seen the Avengers before. I remember him and a couple of other boys talking about it in first block, but he would go to the ends of the earth for Romi. Lee glared in my general direction, and I realized that he'd been reading my mind. I really needed to watch that. Though, it was kind of funny that Romi was totally unaware of that. He nodded. I know, I know... I won't tell her.

"Eh," I said, looking at Carson. "You already saw it, right?"

"Yeah, but I don't mind seeing it again." He just gave me that dizzyingly pretty smile of his. I just smiled back.

"You and I can go to another movie."

"But," Erromi said. "That would ruin the family aspect, wouldn't it?" Lee looked down at that. Poor guy probably though she was saying that she didn't wanna see a movie alone with him. Oh, I bet she did wanna see it with him.

"Not really," Carson argued, glancing at Lee quickly. "It'll just be a little split up. Plus, it doesn't matter. We can talk where ever."

"Yeah." Erromi looked up at Lee, eyes sparkling again, probably at the thought of seeing a Marvel Super-Hero movie that was raved to be awesome as crap. "Sounds fun." She rolled her eyes up a little bit, thinking, or talking to Carson. I couldn't really tell with her being such a ditz.

"So, what should we see?" I asked, crossing my legs, and leaning forward. Good thing I was wearing a low-cut shirt that day. Otherwise I probably wouldn't have gotten the desired effect.

"Uh..." He looked off, not looking very bothered by my attempt to turn him on. Not very effected, at least. I was disappointed, but I didn't show it. "There's The Lucky One, re-runs of The Hunger Games, Battleship, which is supposed to suck, Men In Black 3, which just sounds terrible, and Dark Shadows, which-"

"Oh my god, yes!" I said, leaning forward on the table, smiling madly. "I love Johnny Depp! We have to see Dark Shadows!"

"Okay then," Carson said. He and Lee exchanged glances, and shrugged. Romi and I exchanged glances, and smiled, hers a bit more passive, and mine more of accomplishment.

"Should we eat first?" Romi asked. Classic Dinner and a Movie thing, huh? Well, it sounded like something she'd wanna do. Lee seemed to like the idea.

"Okay," he said, looking at Carson. Carson seemed pretty cool with it, too.

So, beyond that, since nothing else very interesting happened, we decided that we would go to Olive Garden after school on Friday (two days from then), then proceed to see the showing of our respective movies. Luckily, there were showings for both Avengers and Dark Shadows around 7:30/45, so there wouldn't be much waiting.

Time skip a little bit to Thursday evening. As much as I totally wasn't infatuated with Carson, I did want to look good for our double-date thing that was supposed to be a Family Outing, but who really cares anyway? - Thing. Carson was such a nice guy, so I didn't wanna make him look like an idiot with a too-hot too-show-offy girlfriend, but I still wanted to look, you know, sexy. Or hot. At least hot. No less than that, for sure.

I selected my classic "Bite Me" hoodie, leggings, and boots that went about half way up my calf. Minimalistic Sexiness. I believe I created a new style of dress. Copyright.

I pulled out my cell phone as I stood in my room, pajama-clad, trying to ignore the arguing of my older and younger brothers below me. I dialed in Lee's number (which I'd obtained from Carson) hoping to ask him about the impending "date" the next night.

After two and a half rings, he answered.

"Hello?" Lee sounded as bored as ever.

"What should I wear for the date tomorrow?" I asked. Yes, I know I'd already decided on the hoodie, but there was no way of knowing if Carson would like that. It was kind of obnoxious and very potentially suggestive to anyone who had ever read a Lemon fic in their life (boy, I had).

"How the hell do you expect me to know?" Lee sounded as flabberghasted as his question suggested. Well, I could've asked Romi, but he probably wanted advice in the same field and didn't want to admit it. Silly Lee.

"I do not."

"Stop reading my mind! That's violation of the Fourth Amendment!"

"How do you know which Amendment I'm violating?"

"I paid attention in Social Studies this morning! No search or seizure without approval, or whatever! I listened while you were texting under the table!"

"Okay, okay. Jeez..." Lee sighed. I could imagine him rubbing his head, or whispering "bitch" under his breath. Actually, I did hear him whisper bitch under his breath. I wanted to shoot back at him, but that could make him change his mind about helping me with what the heck I was supposed to wear.

"So what should I wear?"

"A hoodie."

"Which one?"

"Not the 'Bite Me' one. It's kinda not appropriate for the circumstances."

That was a relief. Thank god I called him. "Thanks. I will not wear that one anymore."

I put it away (by throwing it on the floor of my small room), and looked around my closet for another hoodie. A red jacket, maybe? I could wear a tight t-shirt under it without looking like a total slut. That would be good.

"Yeah, that works."

"Shut the hell up!"

"I'm not gonna help you anymore!"

"Whatever. You need my help now." I mocked, ninety percent serious in my assumption that he actually did need my help.

"Nu-uh..."

"Yes. You do."

"Now it's your turn to shut the hell up." He snarked, probably smiling to himself at making a witty comment. Yeah. Good job, broseph.

I sighed. "A t-shirt, worn out jeans, Converse, and a nice looking jacket would work well." I thought back the last time I'd gone on a good date. The guy wore something similar to that, except he didn't wear Converse. That was a turn-off. Converse are sexy. "Don't have your Beats around your neck during the movie. People'll think you're playing music, and be paranoid about any strange noises."

"You've had experiences like that?"

"I went to a movie with a guy named Darren a while back, and he had some huge head phones on around his neck. The movie theatre people kicked us out half way through The Vow. Kinda sucked. Channing's hot." It was a nice memory. We walked around to the stores around the theatre until my mom came to pick me up. Right before he came, he tried to pull the moves on me, so I bitch-slapped him. But I didn't tell Lee any of that. That was for another time he needed advice.

"That must've sucked."

"Eh. It was alright."

"Can I wear a wallet chain?"

"Absolutely not. You don't wanna look like some dumb punk. You're definitely not dumb."

"Thanks."

That was about that for that conversation. I picked out my white t-shirt (not too tight) and red jacket to go with my leggings and boots. It was a pretty hot combination, so I was basically set.

The next day was pretty nice. Erromi looked pretty good for the double-date, but Carson. Oh shoot Carson looked hotter than normal. I could've gone on to his sister how good he looked, but I spared Romi my rant. She wasn't very comfortable with talking about that stuff.

But anyways, Carson wearing freaking skinny jeans, Converse High-Tops, and a tight t-shirt. Freaking hot. He seemed to be a little bit oblivious to the fact that this whole escapade was basically a date, but maybe it was good of him to not know that. That, or he set it up that way on purpose, so he could go on a date with me. Or rather, Lee could go on a date with Romi. Either way, it would work. Romi looked pretty, too. She wore a blue cardigan thing with a gray tank top under it, and some jeans and stuff for herself. Mr. and Mrs. Vinkus were footing the bill for the dinner and a movie thing, though they weren't coming. No, it was just a group of rowdy teenagers, terrorizing Olive Garden, then eating popcorn at the theatre even though we were already full.

That was the plan.

And so we did, in essence, do what we planned.

Olive Garden was pretty nice. I made sure not to order anything super expensive. So, I got this pasta thing that had three different cheeses and wasn't any more the eight dollars. Of course, the portions were huge. Same with the soup and salad.

"Hey!" I called a waiter over carrying a large bowl of salad over to our table.

"Yes ma'am?"

Ma'am. Uh-huh. Just wait until I cut your head off with a shoe. "More soup and salad over here, will ya'?"

The kid got on it, looking a little bit irritated with my brash nature. Well, that's just what I did at restaurants. They were serving me, so they were serving. That got me some weird looks from fellow patrons of the Olive Garden franchise, and an elbow in the side from Erromi.

I got to tell everyone about Lee's "sucking off" comment that he'd made the other day, which I'd forgotten to mention for some ungodly reason. We discussed the reviews of the movies we were seeing. Apparently, people who'd watched the TV show for five years weren't fans. The people who were seeing it because it was Depp, and hadn't ever seen the show (like me) liked it a ton. Everyone loved The Avengers.

And that was that. Carson footed the bill with the money his parents had lent him, and we were off, walking down town to the theatre to see our respective movies. I walked with Carson in behind Romi and Lee, who were walking, looking like the perfect couple. Tall blonde dude, with a cute brunette girlfriend. Not bad at all.

Carson and I were the odd ones out. Not that I had anything wrong with dating (or at least going on a date with) a white guy, mixed racial couples were kind of awkward in our school. I never really knew why there was mini segregation in middle and high schools, but black girls were only ever friends with black girls from what I saw. Black guys were a little bit less reserved, but not too far off.

"They look good, don't they?" Carson mused, looking at his twin sister and his best friend.

"They sure do." I smiled at him, and stuck my hands in the pockets of my red jacket. "I kinda feel like the outlier, though."

"Why?"

"Well, for one thing, you guys have more connections than I do. I'm really barely friends with Lee, and I only know you from visiting your sister. Also, you're all white. I kinda stick out." I looked down at my feet, a little bit nervous around a guy for the first time in my life.

"Why does it make a difference that you're black?" He looked pretty dang puzzled.

"I dunno. It just does." I sighed, and looked that the two in front. "Not to mention the fact that I'm a vampire, and you and your sister are relatively normal. Lee's the only one who's weird like am." It was kind of nice to actually get to say that stuff. I mean, I was nervous about what I was supposed to wear on the date, but I was also pretty worried if it would look weird for a black girl to just waltz around with a bunch of white kids. Again, the outlier.

"I really don't think you need to care about that sort of thing," Carson said. "You're coming on the family trip, remember? It's nothing to worry about." He looked up ahead at the other couple, who were walking relatively close. Shoulder to shoulder, at least. The two of us smiled at them, making small talk.

"Well, I'll see how it goes." I sighed.

"Was it anything I did?" He asked it in his completely flat and calm voice. It was kinda a surprising question.

"Don't be dumb." I scoffed it off, and actually laughed to myself a little. "You've been great."

Carson smiled, and shrugged his shoulders. "I try."

We arrived at the theatre with a couple minutes to spare before the shows were to start. We bought our tickets, which we had to pay for individually. And boy, movie theatres were so damn expensive, it wasn't even funny. Twelve bucks a ticket! Oh man, what a great deal!

Well, the theatre wasn't loaded, but it wasn't roomy, to say the least. Carson and I did have a seat on either side, but most of the rest of the row we were in was packed pretty close. We shared a small popcorn, which we blew through in the previews. I'd sneaked a water bottle into the theatre, because again, they were ridiculously pricy.

The movie was okay. Pretty funny, but the dialogue was kinda stiff. We ended up getting out way before the Avengers was planning on getting itself over with, so Carson and I sat outside the theatre, leaning against the building, talking.

"So, I bet you're sister's enjoying herself," I said, pulling my legs in close. Carson had his legs spread out lazily, and he was spinning his headphones around his fingers.

"I'd bet," he replied, no sarcasm to speak of. "I bet she's holding Lee's hand in desperation for all the action scenes."

"Yeah, she freaks out with tension."

"Did you know that Romi really likes horror movies?" Carson's fun fact for the day. What do ya know?

"Rea-" I was cut off when I saw a group of black guys (tall and skinny, all sagging disgustingly) pointing and laughing. I glared at them, but forced myself to look away when they made some rather inappropriate motions. A moment later, I stood up, and walked around closer to the back of the large building.

"Hey, Fresca?" Carson called after me, probably confused. He hadn't really been paying attention, from what I could tell. My face was hot. Not of embarrassment of being seen with a white guy, but rather that a white guy was laughed at for being seen with me. That's what was making me mad.

Carson finally caught up with me, behind the building, standing by a group of dumpsters, barfing up popcorn left and right. It was kinda weird. I was leaning against the building, arms crossed, thinking everything over, but I sure wasn't happy with what'd just happened.

"You okay?" He asked, standing in front of me.

"Yeah, I'm sorry." I rubbed my forehead. "It's just there were a bunch of guys laughing at us when they saw us sitting there."

"Are you embarrassed?"

"No way! Are you kidding?" I cried, standing up straight, looking him directly in the eye. "I just felt bad that they were laughing at you. You didn't deserve it. I'm... I'm really sorry."

"Fresca, I could care less," he said. "I'm not much of one for appearances, you know. I'm sorry that they laughed too, especially since you were so worried about it before we left."

I stood there, listening to him, admiring his confidence. After a moment of looking, I had to turn away. My cheeks were heating up, and I felt like the main character chick of a Romantic Comedy. I licked at my canines obsessively, trying to calm myself.

"Look, Fresca-"

"Carson, I do really like you. A whole lot. Probably more than I should." That just kinda spilled out of my mouth. I took a step back, and looked down, keeping my expression stone-like.

"Well, that works out well."

That made me look up again.

"But I'm, you know, black, and-"

"Fresca, I'm too tan to date a white girl."

My shoulders dropped, and I smiled. Then I forced my lips onto his. He sure didn't fight back. So we stood, surrounded by dumpsters, making out.

It was a damn good day.

A/N: And there we go! Another chapter down. More short stories to come, because that's all I can really manage at this point.

By the way, I haven't even seen Dark Shadows yet. I just read, like, seven reviews, and took what I heard from them.

All the stuff about the mixed-race, I dunno. I don't see a lot of it at my school, and I think it's cool. Kinda like them. Unless I completely blew it up into the stratosphere it sucked so much. I can't really tell at this point. Well, it's a fantasy supernatural romcom with some realistic high school life action going on.

Hope you're not gagging over it!