Home > Turned (The Vampire Journals #1)(12)

Turned (The Vampire Journals #1)(12)
Author: Morgan Rice

She opened the doors. Her heart was pounding, this time not from pain, but from the fear that Jonah would be gone.

Caitlin quickly scanned the place. She walked in fast, out of breath, and already felt conspicuous. She could feel all eyes on her, and scanned the row of diners to her left, and to her right. But there was no sign of Jonah. Her heart fell. He must have left.

“Caitlin?”

Caitlin spun around. There, grinning, stood Jonah. She fell her heart swell with joy.

“I am so sorry,” she said in a rush. “I am usually never late. I just – it just –”

“It’s OK,” he said, gently laying his hand on her shoulder. “Don’t worry about it, really. I’m just glad you’re okay,” he added.

She looked up into his smiling, green eyes, framed by a still bruised and swollen face, and for the first time that day, she felt at peace. She felt that everything could be all right after all.

“The only thing is, we don’t have much time if we’re going to make it,” he said. “We only have about five minutes. So I guess we’ll have to have that cup of coffee another time.”

“That’s fine,” she said. “I’m just so happy that we didn’t miss the concert altogether. I feel like such a –”

Caitlin suddenly looked down and was horrified to realize that she was still dressed in her casual clothing. She was still clutching her gym bag which held her nice clothes and shoes. She had meant to get to the café early, slip into the bathroom, change into her nice clothing, and be ready to meet Jonah. Now she was standing there, facing him, dressed like a slob, and clutching a gym bag. Her cheeks reddened. She didn’t know what to possibly say.

“Jonah, I am so sorry that I am dressed like this,” she said. “I meant to change before I came, but….Did you say we have five minutes?”

He looked at his watch, a flash of concern crossing his face.

“Yes, but—”

“I’ll be right back,” she said, and before he could answer, she raced through the restaurant, heading for the bathroom.

Caitlin burst into the bathroom and locked it behind her. She tore open her gym bag and yanked out all of her nice clothing, now rumpled. She yanked off her clothes and sneakers, and quickly put on her black velvet skirt, and a white silk blouse. She also took out her faux diamond earrings and put them on. They were cheap, but they worked. She finished the outfit off with black, high-heeled shoes.

She checked the mirror. She was a little bit rumpled, not as bad as she would have imagined. Her slightly open blouse displayed the small, silver cross she still wore about her neck. She had no time for makeup, but at least she was dressed. She quickly ran her hands through the water and dabbed her hair, putting some strands in place. She completed the outfit with her black, leather clutch.

She was about to run out, when she noticed her pile of old clothing and sneakers. She hesitated, debating. She really didn’t want to carry those clothes with her the rest of the night. In fact, she didn’t ever want to wear those clothes again.

She picked them all up in a ball, and with great satisfaction crammed them into the garbage can in the corner of the room. She was now wearing her one and only outfit left in the world.

She felt good walking into her new life dressed like this.

Jonah waited for her outside the café, tapping his foot, glancing at his watch. When she opened the door, he spun, and when he saw her, all dressed up, he froze. He stared at her, speechless.

Caitlin had never seen a guy look at her that way before. She never really thought of herself as attractive. The way that Jonah looked at her made her feel…special. It made her feel, for the first time, like a woman.

“You…look beautiful,” he said softly.

“Thanks,” she said. So do you, she wanted to answer, but she held herself back.

With her newfound confidence, she walked up to him, slipped her hand into his arm, and gently lead the way towards Carnegie Hall. He walked with her, quickening the pace, placing his free hand on top of hers.

It felt good to be in a boy’s arms. Despite everything that had happened that day, and the day before, Caitlin now felt as if she were walking on air.

Chapter Six

Carnegie Hall was absolutely packed. Jonah led the way as they fought through the thick crowd, towards Will Call. It was not easy getting there. It was a wealthy, demanding crowd, and everyone seemed like they were rushing to make the concert. She had never seen so many well-dressed people in one place. Most of the men were in black tie, and the women wore long evening gowns. Jewels glittered everywhere. It was exciting.

Jonah got the tickets and lead her up the stairs. He handed them to the usher, who tore them and handed back the stubs.

“Can I keep one?” Caitlin asked, as Jonah went to put the two ticket stubs in his pocket.

“Of course,” he said, handing one to her.

She rubbed it with her thumb.

“I like hanging onto things like this,” she added, blushing. “Sentimental, I guess.”

Jonah smiled, as she stuck it in her front pocket.

They were directed by an usher down a luxurious hallway with thick, red carpeting. Framed pictures of artists and singers lined the walls.

“So, how did you score free tickets?” Caitlin asked.

“My viola teacher,” he answered. “He has season tickets. He couldn’t make it tonight, so he gave them to me. I hope it doesn’t take away from it that I didn’t pay for them myself,” he added.

She looked at him, puzzled.

“Our date,” he answered.

“Of course not,” she said. “You brought me here. That’s all that matters. This is awesome.”

Caitlin and Jonah were directed by another usher into a small door, which opened up right into the concert hall. They were up high, maybe 50 feet, and in their small box area there were only 10 or 15 seats. Their seats were right on the edge of the balcony, flush against the railing.

Jonah opened the thick, plush chair for her, and she looked down at the massive crowd and at all of the performers. It was the classiest place she had ever been. She looked out at the sea of gray hair, and she felt 50 years too young to be here. But thrilled all the same.

Jonah sat, and their elbows touched, and she felt a thrill at the warmth of his body beside her. As they settled in and sat there, waiting, she wanted to reach over and take his hand, and hold it in hers. But she didn’t want to risk being too bold. So she sat there, hoping that he would reach over and take hers. He didn’t make any move. It was early. And maybe he was shy.

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