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“Why not?”

“It's not like she did it when she was sixteen,” Sergio muttered under his breath.

“Hey, I wanted to see Ozzy in concert! And I was stupid. And your brother is the one who talked me into it!”

“Look, it doesn't matter. You go and find answers. Then you call me and tell me you are okay. ”

Though they looked quite calm, Amaliya could feel the tension in her family members. They were both watching her like a hawk. She didn't blame them, not after the things she had done.

Standing up slowly, she tucked the money into her jeans. Amaliya looked sadly at her tiny grandmother. “I'm sorry I screwed up. ”

“He killed you. And made you into a vampiro. You didn't ask for that. And, I have hope for you. You're not killing people left and right and doing bad. You're good in your heart. ” Her grandmother made a step toward her, then hesitated. Seeing the hurt expression in Amaliya's eyes, she gave up caution and hugged her granddaughter tightly. “You go now. You go and take care of yourself. ”

Amaliya clutched her grandmother to her and relished the soft, warm comforting feel of her little body. Kissing her grandmother's cheek firmly, she let out a soft sob, then drew back.

Sergio hesitated, then flung his arms around her and held her close. “Take care of yourself. . . and don't bite me. ”

Laughing softly, Amaliya kissed his cheek, then drew back. “I love you, you know. Both of you. ”

Her grandmother was still holding her rosary tightly and Amaliya realized it was glowing around her fingers. It sobered her considerably to see that. She had never considered the condition of her soul or the hereafter before, but, suddenly, she felt afraid.

“I need my bag,” she said softly.

“I'll get it,” Sergio said quickly, and rushed down the hall.

“Grandmama,” Amaliya whispered softly. “I am trying very hard not to do anything bad. ”

“I know, baby. ” Her grandmother was looking down at her rosary. “You always were a good girl, just lost. ”

“I don't know how I always get into trouble,” she confessed.

“You don't think. You just do,” Sergio answered her as he reappeared with her bag.

“Do not. ”

“Yeah, you do. You never think anything out. We used to have so much fun just suggesting random stuff just to see you go along with it. Amal, let's go jump off the roof. Amal, let's go grab the mule's tail. Amal, go stick your hand in-”

“Okay, okay,” she said with a pout. “Maybe I'm not too good at the whole plan type thing. ”

“Going to Austin is a good plan,” Sergio said. “Just, you know, don't just. . . ”

“Fuck up,” their grandmother said.

They both started and looked at her in shock.

“Well, other people screw up. Amaliya fucks up. I'm sorry, but it's true. She takes after her grandfather. Poor man was a sucker and fell for all the scams in the world. Now, you need to go. You need to get to Austin and find shelter before sunrise. ”

Realizing the late hour, Amaliya knew this was true. Sadly, she kissed her grandmother once more on the cheek, then headed for the back door with her bag in her hand.

“Call me. ”

“I will. And if the police call-”

“I never saw you,” her grandmother answered sadly.

Sergio walked out after Amaliya. His expression was one of worry and he rubbed his chin as she headed to the garage.

“Amal,” he said softly. He looked back to the window their grandmother was watching them through.

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