the fact he’s a self-obsessed idiot.’
Davina nodded, clearly loving the drama.
‘Couldn’t agree more,’ she whispered. ‘You can do much better. And on that subject, I said someone wanted to see you.’
‘Hi, April,’ said Benjamin, stepping forward and pushing his hair out of his eyes. If Gabriel was beautiful, Benjamin Osbourne wasn’t far behind. His shaggy blond hair and blue eyes looked like they came straight off a catwalk. ‘You’re looking great.’
‘Oh, thanks,’ said April, slightly embarrassed. It felt weird being complimented by another boy within earshot of Gabriel, but she knew she had to keep up the pretence.
‘You’re, erm, not too bad yourself,’ she said, wincing at how lame she sounded, but Benjamin didn’t seem to notice. He took her by the elbow and led her to one side.
‘Listen, April, I just wanted to say how sorry I was about Marcus,’ he said.
‘What? Don’t be silly, it wasn’t your fault.’
‘Well, I feel bad about it. I should have seen the signs.He always had something against you for some reason, but I thought he was just jealous.’
‘Jealous?’ she asked. ‘Jealous of what?’
Benjamin smiled, but not his usual confident smile. This was timid, he was unsure of himself. ‘You must know,’ he said quietly.
April was amazed. She had guessed that Benjamin liked her a bit, but she assumed he was just flirting with her because that’s what he did with all the girls. Maybe he really liked her. Then again, maybe it was this damn Fury thing. April had good reason to suspect Benjamin Osbourne was a vampire – why wouldn’t he be? He was gorgeous and his sister was pure evil – and the Fury was designed to attract vampires to her, like some twisted Venus fly-trap.
Ben looked as if he was about to speak, then glanced away.
‘Sorry. I shouldn’t have said anything. You and Gabe have a thing going on.’
‘Had. Past tense,’ said April, resisting the urge to look back at Gabriel. ‘I mean I’m grateful for what he did, but we’re not married or anything.’
Play the game , she said to herself. You’ve got to distance yourself from Gabriel . She turned to Ben and touched his hand.
‘Thanks for checking on me though, that was sweet,’ she said, ‘I know this must have been hard for you too, Ben. Marcus was your friend, wasn’t he?’
‘Only because I clearly misjudged him.’
‘He hasn’t been in touch?’
‘I don’t think I’d be the first person he’d call, not when he went crazy at my Christmas party and almost killed someone I … someone … well, he knew I thought highly of you.’
April raised her eyebrows.
‘I didn’t think boys talked about girls like that. I thought you spent all your time talking about football and cars.’
‘We make an exception every now and then.’
She touched his arm again and flashed him a small smile, wondering if Gabriel would see.
‘Thank you for your concern, Ben. It’s sweet.’
She walked back to her table, head held high, deliberately ignoring Gabriel as she passed him.
‘You’ll never believe what just happened,’ she whispered to Caro. ‘Benjamin Osbourne just …’ but April could see her friend wasn’t listening. She was staring at the other side of the room, her face like thunder.
‘What’s the matter?’
‘Look at the new king and queen of the Faces.’
Across the room a dark, handsome boy and a Chinese girl with long hair were holding court, surrounded by amused onlookers. The girl was Ling Po, who had been the archetypal nerd just a few months ago, with thick glasses and clumpy shoes. Then she’d been adopted by Davina and her friends, and now she was one of them: shiny hair, perfect make-up and designer clothes. She was talking to Simon, one of Caro’s oldest friends. All through school, Simon had been a rebel and an outsider just like Caro, but in the past few weeks he had started hanging out with the Faces and rugby boys
Eugene O'Neill, Harold Bloom