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Summer was finally starting. Not a minute too soon either. Never before had David felt like winter was so long. Maybe it had been a mistake to add two more people to the family right before the boardwalk closed for the season. They had all been stuck with each other during the week. That feeling of balance - that avoiding ‘too much of a good thing’ - was gone when they were desperate for the weekend. 

As far as David was aware, Max knew nothing about Laddie, and he wanted to keep it that way. Neither Laddie nor Star knew anything about Max, and though he wasn’t particularly hiding anything, David thought it was just safer that way. Neither one of them had become full vampires yet. Star continued her ridiculous hunger strike and Laddie did what she told him. The two of them had become rather close. Just like the lost boys from the book, as Marko liked to remind him. The boy’s true loyalty was to his brothers, but he needed a maternal figure to comfort him and provide the stuff that the boys couldn’t. Honestly, it worked out better than he could have ever planned. Somehow, Laddie had brought them all together. After months of deliberation, and seeing how well everyone cared for Laddie, Star had decided that withholding from feeding wasn’t worth it any longer.

“I’ll feed,” she said reluctantly one night as they were preparing to go out. David grinned at her as the boys carried on a subdued celebration. A chorus of ‘told you so’ infiltrated their conversation. 

“Good,” he said. “We’ll find somebody tonight-” 

“No.” Star pulled on her boots. “I want to find someone on my own.” 

Leave it to the girl to want to play the long game. David glanced over at Paul and grinned. His brother was right. Nothing was straightforward, was it? 

“It’s a special occasion, isn’t it?” she asked sincerely. “Your first hunt? Can’t you remember who it was?”

The boys glanced at each other and cackled. 

“Hell no,” Dwayne said. “I was turned in the middle of a turf war. I just grabbed the first person running by that was alive.” The others roared with laughter. Star frowned.

“Well, I think it should be special. I never really get to use my powers for anything fun , so why not make it an occasion?”

“‘ Powers’ ?” Paul echoed. “We aren’t fucking unicorns, girl, c’mon.”

“Yea, that was your choice to not have fun,” Marko said as he helped Laddie pull his arm through his jacket sleeve. 

“Well, whatever you say. I’m going to try and make them come to me.”

“‘Atta girl,” David said as he pushed himself out of his wheelchair and headed toward the entrance. They couldn’t see the boardwalk from the Hotel, but David thought he could see the glow of the pier just over the cliff’s edge. 

“We’re going to see the concert tonight,” Star told him as she came up behind him. “I thought Laddie might like to see them play.”

David looked over at her. “And you’ll find somebody at the show?”

“Maybe, but I don’t want to do it in front of Laddie. He’s not ready.”

David hummed in response. She was probably right, though Laddie was a lot more fierce than she gave him credit for. David would have liked to see him make his first kill. It wasn’t a secret that they were all looking forward to it. “You have your fun hunting, as long as you make that kill.”

Star nudged his shoulder. “Maybe I’ll meet the perfect person tonight.”

He raised an eyebrow. “The ‘perfect person’ kill?”

Star rolled her eyes. “Don’t you ever play with your food before you eat it?”

“Yea, but...oh.” He smirked. “Alright, well, if you need to bring him back here, don’t make a mess on the carpet. Still didn’t get the stain out from the last time Marko had a guest over.”