Drinking blood was creepy. Unfortunately, no one else Tess knew thought that way.
"We're VAMPIRES," her cousin Simon said. "It's what we do." He handed Tess a glass of chilled chicken blood. "Try this, Tessie. Tastes like orange juice."
Tess rinsed the blood down the drain and ate the ice. It still tasted like metal. Blech.
"It tastes like iron, not OJ," she informed everyone that night at dinner. "Can I please drink juice?"
"Tessie, you're not turning-" Aunt Ophelia paused before saying the horrible word "-vegetarian...are you?"
Tess gasped along with everyone else. How could her own aunt think she was vegetarian? Could a vampire even be vegetarian?
"Am not!" Tess grabbed her hamburger and ripped into it. Not for the first time, she wished Dad would cook them more. This was almost as bad as blood.
Not even her human friends got it. The girls thought of Twilight and romance. The boys thought drinking blood would be "gross" and "cool".
They just didn't understand. Tess didn't want to be vegetarian. She didn't even like green food! (Except for avocado.) She just didn't like blood or raw meat.
Why did vampires have to drink blood, anyway? It wasn't a health issue. Tess hadn't drunk blood since she was seven, and she was perfectly healthy.
Unless someone had been slipping blood into her fruit juice for five years without her noticing. Unlikely. Tess hid her juice well, and knew the taste of blood. (No one ever looked in the bottom drawer.)
Vampires, Tess decided, were weird.
And her? The vampire who wouldn't drink blood?
She was the weirdest of all, and proud of it.
After all, drinking blood is gross, Tess thought, popping a spider into her mouth.