Graciela huffed, out of breath. Leon wasn’t as fast as she was, but he was cunning. Every time she’d thought she had caught him, he’d slip out right from under her and dash around the large home. He was able to use the landscape and obstacles to his advantage, making him easily the toughest person she had ever engaged in a not so friendly game of tag with. Not so friendly, only because Gracie had made it her personal goal to catch Leon Sikes. They had been running around for at least an hour, and she was growing beyond frustrated. Watching him closely, Graciela made a plan of attack. When he made to turn, she’d speed up and he wouldn’t see her coming. It sounded feasible, well, until she lost sight of the boy. “Huh?” She scratched the back of her head. He was right there a second ago!
Leon smirked at the confused girl as he crouched in the bushes. For a vampire, she wasn’t perceptive at all. Her actions were predictable. She relied on the assumption that Leon would run towards the corner, and he had, but he didn’t make the turn. He simply hid. This was something he did often around the small town of Fortitude. After about a minute of watching the girl look around wildly, he jumped out of his hiding spot and ran towards her. He couldn’t stand the look of torment on her face, otherwise he’d wait it out until she figured out he had duped her. She didn’t even seem to pick up on his heavy footsteps as he jogged towards her. “Hey, Gracie!”
She let out a shriek, as she spun around frantically. Instantly, she covered her face and shut her eyes tightly. “Go away, please.”
“Gracie?” Leon tilted his head, confused. “Are you okay? We were just playing tag, remember?”
She took in a sharp breath, registering her surroundings, and nodded. t was daytime, there was no darkness. But she swore that she could hear that patronizing voice. “Right, I was uh…just messing with you.”
A feeling of relief washed over Leon, and he placed his hands on his hips. “You were scared. I scared you.”
“Nuh-uh, you didn’t!” She exclaimed. “I wasn’t afraid at all. You just caught me off guard.”
“No, you were scared.”
“You’re an idiot.”
Seeing Camilla and Pax making their way over to the pair, Leon threw his arm over the vampire and smiled. “Let’s pretend I didn’t see you do that. Your secret is safe with me.”
“I don’t have a secret.” She glared at the smiling boy.
“You’re a big scaredy cat,” He chuckled.
“I am not!” She cried, punching his arm. “You jumped out at me. Anyone would be afraid.”
“Mhmm, sure.” His laugh was enough to make Graciela smile. He was teasing her. It was strange having a friend. Well, she had Camilla and Nerissa, but they felt more like her sisters than anything. With Leon, it was different. The boy had made her transition to Fortitude, not easy, but simpler. He was patient with her, and she was grateful. “I won’t tell anyone, I promise.”