21 Affluent

"This looks like the correct address." I say to myself.

Luca gave me the address to where he and his brother live off-campus. It was only about a 20-minute walk from campus, but it was down an extremely wealthy neighborhood.

I've finally arrived at the address he gave me, but all that is before me is a tall stone wall and a closed fence made from swirly steel rods. I imagine all this fence needs is some rust and a few vines growing on it, then it would exactly like the home of a vampire.

I peak past the fence, but I only see a driveway that curves in the distance surrounded by tall hedges. I pinch my lips together nervously and walk closer to the fence where a small metal callbox is positioned on the stone wall.

I push the call button and it rings three times before a male voice sounds through the intercom, "Yo!" It says.

~That doesn't sound like Luca, maybe I have the wrong house...~

I look at the address on my phone, "Erm, I might have the wrong place. I'm looking for Luca Zhang..."

"Name." The voice on the intercom commands.

"I'm sorry?"

"Name!" they repeat, "What's your name?"

"Oh, Tia!" I say, "Or Theresa."

"Come on in!" A buzzing sound comes from the gate and I see it unlock.

~So it is the right house...~

The driveway is long and made of cobblestone bricks. I follow it and gawk at the landscaping, someone has obviously put a lot of work into upkeeping the huge garden. Then, my mouth nearly drops to the ground when I catch glimpse of the house....

Well, 'house' is a bit of an understatement. It's definitely a whole freaking mansion, or maybe it's big enough to be called a castle, I'm not sure. It's three stories tall and it looks old but well-taken-care-of. Huge windows adorn the brick walls and beautiful ivy is crawling up the side of the structure.

~Jeez, I knew Luca's family was rich... I just didn't realize to what extent.~

A man meets me at the front door of the mansion and offers me a warm wet towel to wash my hands. I assume he's some kind of butler and I feel like I've stepped back in time.

I gawk at him as I wipe my hands, then return it to him.

"This way, Miss." The butler says, and gestures for me to follow him into the house.

The inside of the place... well, you probably already guessed it.

Huge. Elaborate. Ridiculously expensive.

~Why would anyone need so much stuff? And why do they need so much of it to be Gucci?~

The butler leads me to a sitting room that is sleek and modern unlike the outside of the house and gestures for me to sit on a white couch that probably costs more than my entire school tuition.

"Th-thank you." I say as I take a seat, I smooth out the sides of the simple black dress I'm wearing. With this dress and my purple scarf, I feel so incredibly out of place and out of style.

"Master Luca will be with you shortly." The butler says before leaving.

I find myself gawking again.

~Master Luca?~

"Jeez, this guy is rich." I speak under my breath.

~Maybe I should try to bargain for a higher price, I bet he easily could give me 20,000 instead.~

When I can no longer hear the butler's footsteps I start staring around the room at all the expensive-looking vases, paintings, and windows. I stare the longest at a very intense chandelier that is hanging above me.

"So you're Theresa?!"

My head snaps down and I find myself staring at a weird Luca look-alike. Well, he looks like Luca except he's skinnier and blonder.

"I'm Luca's brother." He says throwing himself on the couch beside me. We both bounce with his impact.

~Luca's brother?~

I had heard about him before. I had heard he was nearly as good-looking as his brother, I had also heard he was far friendlier. I can see that. He definitely seems far more approachable than Luca, his eyes are a softer blue and the edges of his mouth sit up on their own as if he's constantly smiling.

"You know who I am?" I ask stunned.

"Well, you did say your name through the intercom." He shrugs, and I realize I was talking to him outside the house, "You know, it's weird." He says and smiles at me playfully.

"What's weird?" I ask.

"You're the first girl Luca has ever invited to the house."

I blink, "You've got to be kidding me."

"I'm not." He shakes his head, "And that's why I've become very interested in you."

I blink again. "Oh, you don't need to do that." I put my hands up, "Cause after today, I'm never coming back here again and-"

"You're mortal, aren't you?" he cuts me off.

"Oh, yeah, I am. My-" I begin, but he interrupts me again.

"I thought something seemed off about you." He gives me a cute wink, then leans back on the sofa, "I could smell it on you. You probably have really sweet blood."

"wh- what?" I've never had a vampire say such a thing to me, and I have no idea if it's a compliment or if I should be afraid.

"Is that why my brother likes you?" He asks, excitement filling his eyes. "Has he drank you from you before?"


"Did you guys do it?" He asks that last question in a whisper.

"WHAT?!" I nearly yelp, "No! no, we haven't... he hasn't.." I shake my head, "Luca and I don't even LIKE each other." I say, "In fact, we barely tolerate each other."

"Oh?" he acts surprised, but he's still smiling, "Then why are you here today?"

"I-" I stop talking when I remember why I'm at Luca's house in the first place. ~For Luca to drink my blood~

"Let me guess," He leans closer, "I bet it's because of that sweet blood of yours."

"Sammy!" A low voice reverberates through the room.

The two of us jump in tandem and I look to see Luca standing in the entryway.

"Leave our guest alone." He says, in normal bitchy Luca fashion.

"What?" Luca' brother -Sammy- responds playfully, "I was just getting to know her."

"You don't need to do that." Luca shakes his head, and he's already crossing the room toward me, but with each step he takes toward me, my heart beats faster.

"Why?" Sammy obviously has a knack for getting under his brother's skin, "Is she someone you might introduce to mom and dad?"

Luca scoffs and I'm on my feet before Luca can take another step closer to me. He's coming at me too fast, I need a little time to take things in... and-

"Sammy, please leave us alone." Luca speaks not like he's an older brother but far more like he's a father.

Sammy smiles, then looks at me, "He never lets me have any fun." he makes an exaggerated sigh, "Alright, well you two have fun." He lazily sways to his feet. "But if I smell any blood, I'll probably be back for my portion." he winks at Luca.

Luca glares back at him. "Sammy, go."

"Alright. Alright." He gives me another dazzling smile that shows off his vampire teeth, "If you need my help, just scream, okay?"

~That is not helping with my nerves at all.~

Sammy gives us both an over-dramatic wave before leaving.

Luca sighs when he's gone. "I apologize for my brother." He says, "He can be a bit overbearing."

"Uh, It's alright." I say, although I don't know if it is.

Luca glances back at the entryway that Sammy disappeared into as if making sure he really left, then he turns back to me. "Would you like something to drink?" he asks, "I know I'm parched."

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