Jessica Appleby got out of her car, panting heavily, and ran over to the man laying face down and spread-eagled on the ground in front of her Toyota Corolla - the car's bumper had been knocked off-balance by the impact of the man's ribcage against the metal. Jessica knew instantly he had to be dead, even as she rolled him over -
and saw that he was groaning heavily, blood caked along his face...but he was also uninjured.
"Sir...?" she asked timidly. "You okay?"
Jace sat up and wiped away at some of the blood underneath his nose, which had been destroyed seconds earlier. From his left hand, he took a flask and popped it open, taking a long drink. The vampire stood up and brushed himself off, cracking his neck in ways it wasn't meant to be cracked and doing the same with his limbs shortly afterward. Jessica watched in revulsion and sudden fear.
"Stand still," he said to her almost as an afterthought. "You in a relationship?"
Jessica nodded. Jace took another swig from the flask and groaned, cracking his neck again. Noticing her gaze at the alcohol, he shrugged.
"Don't mind this little fella," he chuckled, his voice adopting a Southern drawl almost instinctively. "He's harmless. I'm the dangerous one. How's your relationship coming?"
No answer; the vampire rolled his eyes.
"Aw, c'mon, now, it can't be much worse than mine. The love of my life is a stain on my favorite tux blazer right now, so all things considered, you're pretty set right now. So, how's your relationship?"
"I treat my boyfriend like dirt," she immediately replied; Jace nodded his head to himself, closing his eyes, and sighed, looking around.
"I was afraid of that," he growled to himself, fangs sliding down as he crossed the gap between him and Jessica and sank his teeth into the girl's neck. After about ten seconds, Jace pulled away, black-and-gold eyes rimmed with red and chest rising and falling with shocked pants.
Jace spun on his heel and whipped away, moving down the street with vampiric speed. Fifteen seconds later, Jessica snapped to attention, looked around, and felt at her neck; confusedly, the girl looked at the blood on her fingertips and then moved her gaze to her car with a low curse. Her next thought: Get home to Bradley.
As she drove away, down the road and moving around a corner, she looked at the art museum and the stairs. Normally, there were kids skating up and down the rails, trying to switch flip the massive sixteen set, but right now there was no one; a single, absolutely divine hunk of masculinity with kept copper hair and pale skin was basking in the sunlight, examining his hands for something only he could have been looking for. The man looked up at her and smiled cutely, eyes seeming to glow, and Jessica took the time to smile back before heading home.