“Table five!” The horrendous ring of that old rusty bell ran throughout the café summoning Elliot to his current task. With a frustrating sigh and a quick run through his thick brown locks, he plastered the fakest smile he could and proceeded to bring the table their meals. Carrying all of them skillfully in one hand. His green eyes filtered through the crowd making sure there was a clear enough path to his destination. Of course he didn't take into account the assholes from table three. One had a cocky smirk on his face and stuck his foot out just enough to trip the waiter.
And there it was, the annoyingly deep laugh from his old high-school bully Trevor.
"Jesus Elliot, you're so pathetic." Trevor and his buddies continued laughing. They stood up leaving a tip and heading out after paying for their meal. All while Elliot lay helplessly on the ground, food and broken glass scattered.
Humiliation bubbled in his chest but he refused to let it turn into tears in front of others. After all this wasn't high-school anymore. He was a twenty year old man who could handle himself.
"Fucking pricks," he seethed through his teeth.
Marty, his manager, came over. The look of pity on the older man's face said it all. "Go home pal, we'll take care of things from here."
"Okay," was all he could get out before pushing himself through the side door. He didn't worry about clocking out, Marty would do that for him.
Tears filled his eyes while he silently sobbed. I am a pathetic loser. Was all he could think standing there lonely in the alley way. He felt vibrations in the pocket of his apron knocking him away from his thoughts of self depreciation momentarily. Quickly clearing his throat and wiping his tears he pulled out his cell and answered.
"Where the hell are you El?" Gale's fatherly voice reached his ears, calming his mind.
"Oh, I took James shift for the evening, sorry for not telling you, I'll be home soon."
He sighed. "Just hurry home, you know better than to be out after dark."
Elliot glanced up at the sky noticing dusk, "Yeah yeah, I know. The vampires or whatever."
"Hey! They're a big fucking deal and you know it! Getting away with murder and shit, it's just wrong."
"Okay," Elliot heaved, "I'll be home as soon as I'm done at the bookstore." He decided to start walking towards the closest place he knew around the downtown area.
"Elliot stop being an idiot and get home now-" click.
He wasn't trying to be rude but Gale was always like this. He was only two years older than Elliot but acted like he was his dad. Gale has always looked out for him. Back in high-school Elliot would be picked on tediously, but when the new kid arrived that all changed. For at least his sophomore and junior year he was there to protect him. Always standing up for Elliot when Trevor and his gang were there to throw punches and insults.
It was funny when they first met they bonded over comic books and video games even though Gale was a jock. He wasn't like the rest of them though. He was much nicer and caring. He also took shit from no one and Elliot respected that. He was envious of it in fact. He hated that he wasn't as strong and tall, not to mention handsome. Gale was a ladies man. And could steal your girl in a heartbeat. He would be lying if he said he didn't at least for a time have a crush on Gale himself. But he knew better than to let false feelings of infatuation settle between them. So he let it go and got over it. Gale liked women and that was that. No need to hang on to something that was potentially disastrous to the only true friendship he's ever had.
He was ecstatic when Gale offered him an option to become roommates after his graduation and live with one another while they both got their shit together. Although, Elliot didn't realize how annoying Gale would act when he was being protective. Always calling and making sure he was getting home on time by curfew. He was a goddamn adult and could take care of himself! Just because vampires roamed the streets late at night didn't mean he couldn't too. They technically weren't allowed to bother humans anyway and would be put down if caught harming anyone.
Yes, what a world to live in. One full of vampires coexisting with humans. They only came into the light about 8 years ago and since then they've flooded the politics and media trying to convince people that they are harmless and only trying to live out their lives peacefully. Bullshit. There was no way that a large amount of human trafficking and missing kids wasn't their fault. That didn't scare Elliot though. He's seen cops take down wild vamps the same way they'd take down out of control crackheads. They weren't invincible. Silver bullets hurt them the same as regular bullets hurt mortals.
"Wait!" Elliot called for the older woman who was currently locking up the store for the night. He rushed to her side, startling her.
"Young man, you should know better than to do such a thing to an old lady like me, what with all that's been going on these last few years!"
"Sorry Margret, pretty please can you let me get a book for the night? I'm itching for a read." He flashed her a pleading smile.
She sighed and shook her head staring momentarily at the dispelled waiter still wearing his stained apron.
"Oh alright but be quick about it El, a frail old woman like me shouldn't be out this late." She unlocked the barred door which screeched with excitement, and then proceeded to open the front of the tidy little bookstore.
"Thank you Margaret!" He quickly kissed her forehead before rushing in.
"Pick what you like and just take it, you can pay me back another time dear," she called from the front.
Immediately Elliot shot straight to the romantic erotica section. It was one of his guilty pleasures and Margret never judged anyone for what they read. A book is a book, as long as you are reading you're expanding your mind. Is what she'd always say and Elliot couldn't agree more.
Bounty Hunters, werewolves, and vampires… hm. No, he couldn't possibly grab one of those. I mean how scandalous would one have to be in a time like this to- he grabbed it. The first one on the shelf. The front cover had a beautiful woman and a ripped man, both with blood on their mouths, half naked, with a castle as the background.
Screw it, why not? He shoved it in one of his apron pockets and helped Margaret lock up for the night.
"Oh dear," you could hear the shakiness in her voice. Her and Elliott's eyes wandered around. It was silent and dark out. Yikes, Gale is going to be pissed.
He couldn't help but notice how shaken Margaret seemed. He gently grabbed the older woman's hand and offered a smile.
"Hey, let me walk you home tonight."
"You don't have to, I know you need to get home to that friend of yours before he gets worried."
"Eh, he's always worried," he said, shrugging his shoulders, "Anyway I owe you for keeping you up so late."
She seemed only a bit relieved but nodded reluctantly anyway. The walk wasn't too long, only a block or two away but it felt like a lifetime. The more quiet it got the more paranoid the two became. Margaret refused to loosen her grip on Elliots arm.
Finally they came to an apartment building that looked as if it'd been standing for hundreds of years.
She graciously hugged the man and thanked him before rushing inside the building.
He started on his way back. Okay, my turn to get home safely. But that thought turned to dust as soon as he rushed around a corner and spotted a group of gruff looking men talking amongst themselves in the alley way.
Cautiously, Elliot tried backing away only to knock a can over behind him. Immediately the men were alerted and their gazes locked straight onto him. Shit. Was all he could think. He tried turning around only to see one of the men miraculously appear in front of him like a flash of light. A chill ran through his spine.
"Well what do we have here?" His hot breath hit Elliots nose, almost making him gag. It smelled of something dead and rotten. The man's fangs protruded from his mouth as he smiled and licked his lips. Elliot covered his face with disgust and backed away, only to have his arms be grabbed from behind.
Another scratchy voice reached his ears.
"Scream, and we gut you like the pig you are."
Well, I am royally fucked.